For many women, the menopause can cause a lowered sex drive, alongside less pleasure during intercourse due to a decrease in natural lubrication. Learn how to enjoy your best sex life yet through the menopause, after and beyond with our top tips…
It’s a natural human interaction, but intimate time often drops down the list of priorities once you reach the menopause, be this because of pain, loss of drive or other factors. However, this needn’t spell the end for your sex life. In fact, with a few simple changes, you can vastly improve your sex life after the menopause and enter a new sexual era!
‘The menopause changes our bodies, and sexual intercourse is often one of the first things to go,’ says former nurse, sex expert and co-founder of online sex toy company Jo Divine, Samantha Evans. But this doesn’t have to be the case and, actually, having more sex and orgasms can help alleviate and even reverse some symptoms of menopause.
Can sex improve menopause symptoms?
‘Regular orgasms help to boost your immunity, improve your mood and promote a good night’s sleep,’ says Samantha. ‘This is because they cause a release of endorphins, which lowers blood pressure and induces relaxation. Research by the University of California has also found that having sex at least once a week slows the ageing process in women. It found that these women had longer telomeres – the “caps” at the end of DNA strands that protect the chromosomes – than those who didn’t.
This is because when you have sex, your body releases anti-inflammatories, such as oxytocin and beta-endorphins, which help to repair cells. It also increases circulation, which delivers more oxygen to your skin and other organs. Finally, sex is also said to boost your brain health and even help you live longer!’
How to enjoy great sex after the menopause
Embrace a few simple, natural tweaks, and the good news is, an amazing sex drive – potentially the best sex you’ve ever had – is still very much on the cards after the menopause. So why not try Samantha’s natural tips to improve your sex life before, during and after the menopause…
1. Replace depleting oestrogen levels to restore moisture
Oestrogen levels tend to drop after the menopause, which can cause the vagina to become dry, so causing sex to be painful and less enjoyable. However, topical oestrogen creams and pessaries, such as Vagifem (available from your GP), can be used to replace the depleting oestrogen levels, leaving you feeling more moist and healthy.
2. Use lube to improve sex after menopause
Intercourse is more pleasurable if you’re well lubricated. Choose a pH balanced product, that’s free from glycerin, glycols or parabens
as these can irritate your delicate skin. Try YES Organic Oil-Based Lubricant (£5.99), but don’t overdo it – a small two-pence coin size amount should be plenty.
3. Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
Keeping up with your pelvic floor exercises can work wonders for your sex life. The more you exercise these muscles, the stronger they become, enabling stronger sensations, improving arousal and enabling more intense orgasms. And as we know, orgasms are fantastic in themselves – they have a plethora of health benefits, including helping to flush hormones through your vagina, making it healthier and ready
for more sex.
There are many exercises you can try to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles are improve sex after the menopause, but one of the simplest is to sit comfortably and contract and release the muscles in your vagina 10-15 times in a row, as many times a day as you can. Once you’ve
done this a few times, you can try holding and squeezing them for longer. Remember to focus purely on your pelvic floor and don’t tense your stomach or buttock muscles at the same time.
4. Don’t skip foreplay
It’s all too easy to rush into the penetrative part of sex, if you’re with a man, particularly if you’ve been through the menopause and feel a little… meh! However, exploring prolonged foreplay can be just as satisfying. Anything from kissing and cuddling, to massage and intimate touching can work wonders.
Or why not experiment with something you’ve never tried before? Different sensory experiences can be very exciting, so play around with blindfolds etc. It’s easy to dismiss the idea of trying new things, but now is the ideal time to discover a new sexual era with your partner.
5. Try using sex toys after menopause
Using sex toys might seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. A simple bullet vibrator, such as the Rocks-Off RO 90mm (£13.99, jodivine.com), can help you to enjoy orgasms during penetrative sex, foreplay or even on your own. And what’s more, toys can help your partner too, as they’re a great way to spice things up between you.
6. Don’t rush the sex
With so much going on in life, sex can sometimes seem like a chore that needs to be squeezed in or else forgotten entirely, but leaving
it out could mean you’re missing out. The more sex you have, the more your body gears up for it and the more pleasurable it will become, so don’t let it drop off your radar. Find a time when you’re both relaxed and instigate it.
7. Work on your body confidence to increase your sex drive
Something you may not have considered is how sexy you feel. We’re often so busy blaming our hormones and busy lives for our lack of
appetite for sex that we miss the fact we just don’t feel that confident in our bodies anymore. Spend time reaffirming your love for yourself and your body. be thankful for this new chapter in your relationship with your body.
If you feel a little out of shape, or not as healthy as you once were, toning up can help you get your mojo back. Consider a walking challenge or join a yoga class to help build strength and improve your flexibility – the latter is always handy for trying new positions…
8. Discuss your sexual fantasies with your partner
Talk to your other half about what you like and what they like. It’s normal for sexual taste to change over time and what may have worked in the past may not work now, so explore new ways to enjoy intimacy together. Talking about your fantasies is a surefire way to get you both in the mood.
8. Ask for help if you’re struggling with the menopause
This tip is perhaps the most important. Many women resign themselves to menopause symptoms, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Talk to
your GP, friends, or a sex expert to find out more about the help available. The menopause can be an incredibly challenging time for many women – just know that you are not alone and help is available.
Words: Larissa Chapman | Photos: Shutterstock