How Menopause Affects Your Sex Life (And What You Can Do About It)

Every woman experiences her own unique symptoms and experiences during and after menopause. Some women feel very little in the way of change, while others have a few pronounced symptoms, and yet others experience wide-ranging changes. Among the more common symptoms are hot flashes, sleep disruptions, and mood swings. And for many women, menopause can also interfere with their sex lives.

If menopause is interfering in your sex life, you don’t have to live with it. The doctors at Southeast Urogyn have a variety of treatments that can help you.

The reasons behind menopause

While menopause can be brought on by the natural aging process, health conditions, such as primary ovarian insufficiency or medical procedures — including chemotherapy, radiation, and hysterectomies — can cause artificial and premature menopause. In each of these scenarios, your ovaries stop producing eggs and, along with that, much of your estrogen.

Since your reproductive years have ended, many of the systems that support pregnancy and childbirth shut down. Since estrogen is the primary messenger for a woman’s reproductive system, its decline, as well as its balance with other hormones, can bring on the range of effects you feel.

Menopausal symptoms and sex life

Menopausal symptoms can disrupt many areas of a woman’s sex life. Some women may experience vaginal dryness, making intercourse uncomfortable or even painful. Hot flashes and sleep disruptions can lead to fatigue or exhaustion, leaving little energy or enthusiasm for sex. The mood-changing effects of menopause can also include a loss of libido. And you may not be as sensitive to touching and caressing as you used to be.

Entering menopause, though, doesn’t guarantee that your sex life will take a negative turn. Some women find that the freedom from pregnancy can be liberating, and others find that changes in their balance of estrogen and testosterone can actually increase their libido.

Dealing with the effects of menopause

When menopause does interfere with your sex life, you need not simply accept the changes. Depending on the immediate reasons behind the most troublesome symptoms, there may be treatments or lifestyle adjustments that can help relieve them.

One of the most common causes of painful sex is vaginal dryness. The low level of estrogen can interfere with the blood supply to the vagina, leading to a condition called vaginal atrophy. The lining of the vagina is no longer as supple as it was, and natural lubrication may no longer be sufficient for comfortable intercourse.

Using water-based lubricants or topical creams with estrogen may be enough to restore normal conditions for some women, while others may need more intensive treatments. Southeast Urogyn offers a variety of nonsurgical solutions for vaginal atrophy, including the MonaLisa Touch® and CO2RE®Intima systems. The O-Shot, a treatment based on platelet-rich plasma techniques, can even increase your sensitivity and sexual pleasure.

The right treatment for you will depend on the range of your menopause symptoms as well as their severity. The doctors at Southeast Urogyn are experts in creating personalized treatment plans to relieve symptoms. The first step is a consultation and examination. Call the office today to arrange an appointment. 

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