Sex and Menopause

Sex and Menopause

26 February 2024

Sex during and after menopause often gets a bad rap, after all, it changes our bodies in less than pleasant ways (hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and vaginal dryness anyone?!)

All women go through menopause, in fact, 1.3 million of us enter this realm every year. So if you’re between the ages 45 and 55, you’re among the many experiencing this transition. Once you’ve gone without a period for 12 months, you’ve hit menopause. The symptoms of menopause are however not something that solely affects women in the above age group; early menopause or perimenopause affects approximately 110 000 women under the age of 40, and low sex drive is one of the most common symptoms.

All women experience menopause differently but many experience low libido. A drop in estrogen levels causes the walls of the vagina to be thinner and drier which may cause vaginal irritation and pain during sex. Changes to bladder tissues and pelvic floor muscles may cause continence problems. Also, you might feel differently about your body during menopause which could – together with all the other nasty symptoms – impact your libido and mental health.

So, is it possible to maintain intimacy and prioritize sexual wellbeing during menopause? Most definitely! Are you familiar with the term “use it or lose it”? You can literally apply it to sex after menopause. True, loss of estrogen causes dryness which could lead to painful sex. But there’s a bright side: sex will keep the delicate tissues of the vagina moist and supple. And if that’s not doing the trick, a natural, water-based lubricant may be helpful.

There are many ways to consciously spice things up in the bedroom. Talk to your partner about what you’re comfortable with and schedule sex. Book date nights and meet each other for a drink, or two. Consider experimenting with erotic videos or books, masturbation, and changes to sexual routines. Pack away the yoga pants. Wear pretty panties and a matching bra. Also, have fun with foreplay, such as a sensual massage or oral sex.

Talk about books. No seriously! You’ll suddenly remember how irresistibly smart and curious your partner is. Also sext him. Take a minute to send him a love message. Save water and shower together. Genius? I thought so.

A healthy libido is a life force in so many ways. Sex can improve cardiovascular health, sleep, and stress relief, while releasing natural pain killers and increasing your sense of wellbeing at the same time. Not to mention the fact that sex will give you the ultimate youthful glow that no amount of makeup can achieve!

While menopause may be a totally natural process, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with the symptoms. There are many treatment options – hormonal and non-hormonal – to give you a better quality of life.

If you haven’t already, speak to your GP about the right treatment plan for you.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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