How and why is Sex affected post Menopause

Menopause can lead to many physical and emotional changes that directly or indirectly interfere with the daily life and a healthy sex life of both the partners. Perimenopause is a condition that occurs years before the periods stop. This condition can be characterized by symptoms such as hot flashes. The Menopause begins after the menstrual cycle has stopped and not occurred for at least one full year. Every female’s experience is different during this phase but , approximately 17-45 percent of women say sex can be painful during or after menopause. Here’s some relief ladies! There are several options that can help treat the most common complications in the menopause period. Reading ahead , take a look at the menopause effects and effective treatments for the condition.

Physical effects

The physical effects and changes during perimenopause and menopause vary from woman to woman. Some females may also undergo emotional changes and side effects as well. During perimenopause phase, hormones such as estrogen, that carry out fertility and pregnancy, decrease in the woman. This brings out several changes in the blood vessels and tissues of the vagina and vulva while making the organs more sensitive and vulnerable to damage and more prone to infections.

Most sexual complications of menopause are linked to vulvovaginal atrophy, a condition in which the female experiences a loss of elasticity and moisture, and the tissues of the vulva and vagina thicken. During the perimenopause period, the tissues of the vagina and vulva get less estrogen than the usual. Even the tissues receive lesser lubrication, which increases the friction during intercourse, also increasing the risk of damage. Some physical symptoms of menopause are:

  • Reduced vaginal tone and loss of elasticity and flexibility of the vaginal wall
  • Painful intercourse
  • Bleeding or burning sensation during sex
  • Feeling tight down there during intercourse
  • Fall in libido or sexual drive
  • Facing a hard time becoming or staying aroused
  • Frequent episodes of urinary tract infections

Some females also experience atrophic vaginitis, a condition which causes inflammation, swelling or puffiness of the vaginal tissues. The condition of atrophic vaginitis arises from reduced estrogen levels and can cause pain, swelling, itching and burning. Not all females experience the same physical or emotional changes during menopause. Even the extent of any symptoms experienced can vary. Women are suggested to consult their doctor if symptoms become unbearable and hinder their daily life and reduce quality of life.

Also Read: Female Dryness or Vaginal Dryness Cure

Emotional effects

The physical symptoms of menopause directly lead to emotional side effects. Change and fluctuation in hormone levels may interfere with normal sleep cycles and mood, leading to tiredness, anxieties, feeling irritated, and depression.Decreased sex drive or inability to enjoy sex can also lead to loss of self-esteem and intimacy. Menopause affects the emotional side of the female. At the time of stress or anxieties, women often lose interest in activities that generally lift their mood and bring some pleasure. In this context, pain and discomfort are another reason that can make it difficult for the female to enjoy sex. Many physical changes that are witnessed with aging can also increase and boost the emotional and psychological symptoms during menopause. In case the sexual arousal or sensitivity of the vagina is affected, some women will get nervous and stay away from sexual activity , which can further worsen the symptoms. Common emotional and psychological side effects that hinder the sex life include:

  • Anxieties or nervousness
  • Feeling cranky or staying irritated
  • Lack of focus , motivation and concentration
  • Feeling sad, or depressed
  • Frequent fatigue
  • Decreased sexual desire or interest
  • Low self-confidence and feeling worthless or helpless
  • Fear of intimacy

As per a survey, it was found out that approximately 70 percent of women who experienced pain during sex during menopause also developed tensions with their partner and complications in the relationship. It is not in every case that the women would experience negative emotional symptoms because of menopause. Some women see positive changes in their behaviour and thinking and believe to have gained wisdom and self-confidence. Females who undergo such extreme negative symptoms during or after menopause should talk to a gynecologist as it can readily interfere with their healthy sexual activity and daily life.

Reducing sexual complications

The sexual complications before or after menopause may be reduced by continuing an active sex life. Staying sexually active is one of the simplest ways to decrease the sexual complications caused due to menopause. Because of the physical, psychological and emotional side effects of menopause , many females to reduce or refrain from sexual intercourse. Practically, the vagina needs consistent use to stay healthy, especially after the woman has reached menopause.

Regular sexual stimulation can help increase blood flow to the vagina. It is also helpful in maintaining the vagina’s firmness, elasticity, depth, and shape. Behavioral changes and over-the-counter products are often the first recommended treatments. In worse cases, a doctor may prescribe hormone therapies to help reduce vaginal dryness or hormonal creams to apply to the tissues.

Easy tips to reduce side effects on the sexual side after menopause include:

  • Staying sexually active
  • Using vaginal lubricants during intercourse
  • Using vaginal moisturizers regularly before intercourse
  • Avoid using any soaps, oils, or washes as they can lead to vaginal dryness
  • Use lukewarm instead of hot water for cleaning the intimate areas
  • Increase the foreplay or other activities before intercourse that increase sexual arousal
  • Regulate or reduce stress by engaging in counselling sessions, exercise and therapies
  • Get in touch with a therapist or counselor
  • Look for ways to bring back the passion and compatibility or repair partner relations
  • Seek new or exciting sexual activities
  • Consult a gynecologist to get rid of vaginal irritation, infections, and inflammation to reduce discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Keep your body hydrated
  • Avoid uncomfortable clothing or fabrics that irritate the skin
  • Find solutions to treat sexual complications

Approximately 55 percentage of the females do not seek medical treatment for complications with menopause. Such symptoms should not be avoided. Most of these side effects go away or are reduced over time and eventually go away. For some females, symptoms of menopause are much more intense and persistent in nature. Medical treatment is strongly advised in such cases. The gynecologist may prescribe some medications which are composed of estrogen, progesterone, or even both. Treatment plans depend on a variety of factors, including additional health complications. Women who no longer have a uterus will not require extra progesterone, for example.Medical treatment options to manage and control the side effects of menopause include:

  • Topical estrogen or progesterone medications such as prescribed rings, tablets, creams, or suppositories put directly on vaginal tissues are suggested to help reduce the vaginal dryness.
  • Low-dose oral contraceptives may be prescribed that can help reduce vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes. These may also come in form of transdermal patches. Do not take any of such medication without consulting your gynecologist.
  • Menopausal hormone replacement or MHRT may be prescribed to help get rid of vaginal dryness, discomfort, and pain during intercourse. This prescription may also help reduce hot flashes, bad mood swings, and depressions.
  • Some medications may also be prescribed to deal with depression, anxieties, epilepsy, and abnormally high blood pressure, hot flashes and mood swings.

Additional health complications may demand the use of hormonal treatment options. Such health complications include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Family history or previous case of heart diseases or strokes
  • Consumption of cigarettes or tobaccos
  • Family history or previous cases of cancer
  • History of diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Alcoholism or regular alcohol consumption
  • History of liver or kidney disease
  • Previous episodes of chronic bleeding
  • Frequent blood clots or clotting complications
  • Women over the age of 60 or those who have already undergone menopause

Post-Menopause Treatments at Pristyn Care

Sex life takes a toll after menopause. Practically considering facts, it is not just the sex life but normal daily life of the female too is affected badly. With the increasing dryness, irritation and itching in the intimate areas, it gets difficult for the female to stay comfortable. With the Post Menopause Laser Treatment and Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation, the female can get rid of complications after menopause, the female can also get back the pleasures of her sexual life post the treatment.

Also Read: Vaginal Dryness- Symptoms, Causes, Treatments & Prevention!!

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