The natural process of perimenopause as a woman ages can bring about changes to her sex life. This can include changes to libido, physical responses and relationships. Learning about the perimenopausal journey and understanding the changes that you may experience can help in navigating the transition.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause marks the transition period between the primary reproductive years and postmenopause. Perimenopause is the stage when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs and there is a natural decline in her female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. During perimenopause, a woman’s body slowly shifts from fertility to later-life phases, making her more sensitive to changing hormone levels.
How Do Hormonal Shifts Affect Sexual Intimacy?
Hormonal changes during perimenopause can cause a decreased libido, making sexual intercourse and intimacy less appealing to women. Low estrogen levels associated with aging are thought to be a major factor in reduced sexual drive. Although this is a normal part of the aging process, some women experience difficulty in expressing their emotions and desires, leading to fear and even embarrassment about engaging in sexual intimacy.
Other hormonal shifts during perimenopause can also affect a woman’s experience of sexual intimacy. Low progesterone and rising testosterone levels can lead to increased genital sensitivity and promiscuous behavior. This can create a physical, emotional, and mental disconnect in some women, making it difficult to find a balance between the theory and practice of safe sex practices and engaging in pleasurable sexual experiences.
Managing Emotions and Enhancing Sexual Intimacy
It’s important to focus on addressing the issues that arise during perimenopause, to ensure a healthy and enjoyable relationship. Some practical steps include:
- Communicating openly and honestly with your partner.
- Maintaining a positive outlook and being accepting of the changes associated with aging.
- Being proactive about finding solutions to any issues that arise.
- Managing stress through relaxation techniques and physical activity.
- Exploring methods to increase libido, such as herbal or natural supplements, lifestyle changes or hormone therapy.
- Living a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
By taking the time to understand perimenopause and the changes that women may experience during this time, it is possible to maintain sexual intimacy and a fulfilling relationship. Understanding emotional changes and how to manage them, will ensure a healthy balance with your partner and a sense of sexual satisfaction.