Has menopause taken some of the fun out of sex? A change in hormones can affect everything from energy levels to libido, but fear not! Here are some top tips for putting the spice back into your sex life.
Your hormones are all over the place during menopause, and it’s common to find this affects your sex life. Certain physical changes – such as vaginal dryness – can have a big impact on how you feel, and what you feel comfortable doing. Luckily, there are many ways to tackle the symptoms that are stopping you from having a great time. Without further ado, let’s look at some top tips for sex during and after menopause.
Arm yourself with the facts
Knowledge is the ultimate power, so brush up on the facts around menopause. This will ensure you have a solid understanding of the changes going on in your body, and how these can impact your sex life. Once you’ve identified the symptoms that are bothering you, it’ll be easier to know where to look for help and advice on how to improve your situation. If you’re unsure about any of your symptoms, you should chat to your doctor.
For example, if you’re feeling less than enthusiastic about the idea of sex, then you’re far from alone. Understanding that a change in hormones can affect your sex drive will hopefully make you feel more empathy towards yourself. A visit to the doctor or gynaecologist can help you explore the most effective ways of managing your hormones, which can have a knock-on effect on desire, and mood.
Give lube a go
If you’re not already aware of its benefits, then it might be time to get familiar with lube. Vaginal dryness, which may cause painful or uncomfortable sex is a common issue for women during and after menopause. While a treatment plan from your doctor can help you manage the dryness in the long-term, lube is a great way to instantly ease the discomfort caused by lack of moisture during sex and even throughout the day.
We’ve created a range of lubes, so there’s bound to be something to suit you and your partner. Why not take our quiz to help you choose? Our Durex Naturals range is ideal for use during menopause when your vagina and vulva might be experiencing dryness, because it’s gentle, made of natural ingredients and designed to make sex feel even more smooth.
Try something new
Going through menopause should by no means signal the end of experimentation. Whether you’ve been curious to try out a different sex position with your partner, or swap night-time action for a lunchtime quickie, take this shift into a new life stage as a cue to try something new. After all, you never know if something will feel good until you’ve tried it.
Certain sex toys can invite longer foreplay, which can encourage you to feel more turned on. It’s worth noting that the word foreplay could do with a bit of a rethink, as the things it encompasses (kissing, massage, oral sex to name a few) are often the main event that give you the buzz that great sex – in all its forms – should deliver.
Please yourself first
If you feel like your sex drive has gone from hot to lukewarm in menopause, masturbation can be a great way to try and turn up the temperature again. The best thing is, you only have yourself to please. If a candlelit bath with only your best hand for company turns you on, then make it a regular event.
Similarly, if you enjoy sessions with your trusty vibrator, then give yourself the time and space needed to enjoy this solo pleasure. After all, you don’t have to wait for someone else to help you feel good. Think of masturbation as being a bit like sleep: the benefits on both body and mind are invaluable, and will certainly help to make up for the more stressful parts of menopause.
You might think pregnancy scares are a thing of the past once you start menopause, but it’s still possible to conceive in the early stages until you’ve reached full menopause, when you’ve not had a period for 12 months. Babies and birth control aside, another thing to be aware of is sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You’re still at risk, regardless of your age or life-stage, so staying safe will keep them at bay.
If you’re having sex with various partners, then use condoms, get regular check-ups, and if you’re using lube with a condom, make sure it’s a formula that doesn’t interfere with the condom’s efficiency. It’s always best to read the label on the bottle of lube for guidance.
We’re not focusing on dirty talk here, although that can be very effective in helping to turn you and your partner on. The talk we’re addressing is in fact open communication: with your best friends – some of whom may be going through menopause and share some of your issues – and your sexual partner.
Sharing a problem is a good way of getting to the bottom of it. And sharing the more joyful aspects of your sex life is equally as important. It’ll encourage your partner to keep doing what feels good. Give your friends in similar situations some first-hand tips, based on your experiences, on ways to improve sex during and after menopause.
Whether boxing, swimming or stretching your legs, exercise helps you to feel more energised, while building strength (which can be compromised due to the dip in hormones during menopause). If putting on your trainers and stepping outside is a step too far on days when your energy might be low, even some gentle yoga poses can work wonders on your core strength – which supports your pelvic floor, and can help to ramp up the good sensations you experience during sex.
If you enjoyed this, why not read How to Take the Pain out of Sex During Menopause.