Menopause Mondays: Vaginal Dryness, Loss Of Libido -Keep Your Sex Life Alive During Menopause
Some of us have been trained to believe that our sex lives are over when we enter perimenopause and menopause. Au contraire, ladies! Karen Giblin, the founder of Red Hot Mamas, is a red hot mama herself. You can make sure you stay sizzling hotter than you ever thought possible in menopause. This February, red is the new black, and “ooh la la” is the new sad trombone! Read Karen’s tips for sizzling on through.
I’m not a drama mama when it comes to sex. I must also confess that I’ve always thought that sex should sizzle, even during and after menopause. In addition to the sheer pleasure when engaging in the sexual act, there’s also health benefits derived. For instance, say goodbye to the “quickie,” as having sex burns about 150 calories every half-hour (here are more sexy calorie burners from Woman’s Day). It also helps us overcome insomnia, as it improves our sleep and relaxation. It may also increase our life longevity, strengthens and improves immunity, cardiovascular health, lowers cholesterol, and if satisfying, increases intimacy within a relationship. Sex is certainly a pleasurable pastime and should not become mission: impossible at menopause.
Let’s look at some of the ways couples can keep their sex life on fire. First, become knowledgeable about what to expect at menopause and some of the issues that sometimes arise as a result of hormonal changes like vaginal dryness, loss of libido, urological problems, hot flashes, night sweats and mood changes. Be prepared to discuss these changes with your specialist. Your specialist should take a sexual health history and ask about your vaginal comfort. He/she should let you know about products to relieve pain and discomfort, as well as safe and effective options to ameliorate your menopausal symptoms.
Just because I’ve reached menopause, I’m not going to let my sex life go down like the stock market. There’s a smorgasbord of options available to slay the symptoms of menopause. First, I’ve had to accept aging positively. By incorporating good habits like eating well, preparing lighter meals and exercising more, I know this will help me feel sexier and more confident. I’m not going to flatline sex because of dryness issues. In fact, we’ve all heard the cliché “use it or lose it,” and that should apply as sex increases blood flow and actually reduces vaginal dryness. I’ve discovered how helpful lubricants and moisturizers are and they are actually fun to use during foreplay. And, those Kegel exercises also increase pleasure during sex.
Other bedroom helpers: share your feelings about sex with your partner. Your partner may not have a clue what menopause is and the symptoms you may be experiencing. Good communication enhances sex! Don’t forget to exercise. It also increases blood flow to erogenous zones, releases endorphins and can power up your sex drive. Engage in sexual thinking and don’t be afraid to incorporate it in your sexual activities. Romance novels, films, and fantasies can help with arousal issues. And, don’t forget the chocolate this Valentine’s Day. Chocolate contains an amino acid which may have aphrodisiac effects.
Bottom line: You can have great sexual experiences during menopause and beyond. Be open, have fun and use your creativity (back rubs, bubble baths, new positions), and always keep a positive attitude. The late Pearl Bailey once said, “What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.” So, I urge you to stop reading this blog and enjoy your Valentine’s Day. From one red hot mama to another, I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day.
From the red hot mama herself, don’t let menopause get the best of you! Your libido may be low and your shmirshky may be on a trip to the desert (it is winter, after all), but there are ways around these setbacks. Kick the fizzle and pick the sizzle this Valentine’s Day — make it a red hot month! Thanks to Karen Giblin for the great pointers and check back next week for 14 ways to CRANK THE HEAT UP this month!
For more information about Red Hot Mamas, log onto www.redhotmamas.org!