Women navigating through menopause have to grapple with a range of changes that can significantly affect their sexual health and overall wellbeing. As the body adjusts to unpredictable fluctuating hormones, it’s essential to identify the key areas affected by menopausal changes and learn how to learn how to manage them. Here we explore the connection between menopause and sexual health and health.
Menopause and Low Libido | A Common Relationship
One of the most common signs associated with menopause is a falling sex drive. This is thought to be due to declining levels of oestrogen, which plays an important role in female sexual health and drives libido. In addition, lower levels of dopamine and other chemicals thought to be involved in sexual arousal can also affect sex drive. Symptoms that can be associated with this include nausea and fatigue, making it difficult to function sexually or to simply be interested in sex.
Changes in Physical Appearance & Sexual Self-confidence
With the physical changes that can take effect during menopause, such as thinning skin, shifting body shape, and hair thinning, women can often become self-conscious and struggle to accept their bodies. This can, in turn, manifest in a decrease in sexual confidence and a feeling of ‘undesirability’. This can be further compounded with the effects of vaginal dryness, causing pain during penetrative sex and reducing sexual pleasure.
Taking Control of Menopause
1. Seek Support
Menopause can be an isolating experience as we navigate our own unique path. It’s important to speak to family, friends and healthcare providers to establish if there is anything that can be done to manage the many changes associated with menopause.
2. Know Your Hormones
Restoring hormone levels is key to managing menopause-related symptoms and preserving overall health and wellbeing. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can boost oestrogen levels and help alleviate some menopausal symptoms.
3. Minimise Stress
Stress can worsen menopausal symptoms, and regular relaxation methods, such a mindfulness mediation, or yoga and low impact exercise, can help reduce stress levels. Nutritional supplements can also help build resilience during menopause and reduce symptoms.
Maintaining Sexual Health Post Menopause
Most women experience a noticeable decrease in their libido during menopause; however, this doesn’t mean that an active and satisfying sex life is completely off the cards. Approaches such as HRT, silicone-based lubricant and water-based lubricant for vaginal dryness, and relationship counselling can all help improve sexual function and drive. It’s also important to go for regular health check-ups, ensure healthy eating and find ways to stay active that fit around the changes in your body.
Menopause can an overwhelming experience, however, a few simple steps can help build resilience and maintain sexual health and wellbeing. It’s important to remember that your menopausal journey is unique, and the goal should be finding a satisfactory balance that empowers you.
Keywords: Menopause, Sexual Health, Health, Low Libido, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Stress, HRT, Relaxation, Healthy Eating.