Sex And Menopause
How Does Menopause Affect Your Sex Drive?
The loss of estrogen following menopause can lead to changes in a woman's sexual drive and functioning. Menopausal and postmenopausal women may notice that they are not as easily aroused, and may be less sensitive to touching and stroking -- which can result in decreased interest in sex.
In addition, lower levels of estrogen can cause a decrease in blood supply to the vagina. This decreased blood flow can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable intercourse.
A lower estrogen level is not the only culprit behind a decreased libido; there are numerous other factors that may influence a woman's interest in sexual activity during menopause and after. These include:
Does Menopause Lower Sex Drive in all Women?
No. In fact, some post-menopausal women report an increase in sex drive. This may be due to decreased anxiety associated with a fear of pregnancy. In addition, many post-menopausal women often have fewer child-rearing responsibilities, allowing them to relax and enjoy intimacy with their partners.
What Can I Do to Treat Vaginal Dryness During Menopause?
During and after menopause, vaginal dryness can be treated with water-soluble lubricants such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly. Do not use non-water soluble lubricants such as Vaseline because they can weaken latex (the material used to make condoms, which should continue to be used to avoid pregnancy until your doctor verifies you are not producing anymore eggs and to prevent contracting sexually transmitted diseases). Non-water soluble lubricants can also provide a medium for bacterial growth, particularly in a person whose immune system has been weakened by chemotherapy..
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