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Sex and the menopause – what’s going on?

Samantha Evans

Co-founder of Jo Divine

When dealing with a myriad of menopausal symptoms, sexual wellbeing can take a backseat, especially when you experience vaginal dryness or atrophy, decreased sexual sensation or low libido, making it feel painful or uncomfortable or simply not working for you anymore.

Many women abandon sex or continue to endure painful sex, which is neither pleasurable, good for their vaginal health or their relationship because they struggle to talk to their partner about it. Women who previously had a good sex life may get frustrated that the menopause has impacted upon it.

Use lubricant

One simple way to increase sexual wellbeing, which promotes vaginal lubrication, is to use lubricant.

It’s important to maintain vaginal health by using a pH balanced lubricant. Many commercial lubricants/moisturisers contain ingredients that can irritate the tissues of the vulva and vagina, including propylene glycol, parabens, perfume and dyes in addition to ‘tingling’ or ‘warming’ ingredients too.

Always check the ingredients before you buy or ask your GP before they prescribe you a product. Nothing is worse than lubrication causing itching or stinging!

Have regular orgasms

Enjoying regular orgasms increases vaginal lubrication, reduces stress and exercises your pelvic floor. Orgasms can also improve the quality of your sleep, a common problem during the menopause, as the release of feel good endorphins induces a state of relaxation helping you drift off.

Exercise your pelvic floor muscles

Regular pelvic-floor exercises can make orgasms feel stronger and help incontinence issues.

Don’t give up

Don’t give up on your sex life, talk to your partner, use lubricant, explore sex toys, be imaginative, adventurous and have fun in whatever way feels pleasurable for you!

I believe sexual health and sexual pleasure go hand-in-hand. By working with medical professionals, we hope to encourage patients and healthcare professionals alike in talking more freely about sexual problems. A health issue doesn’t mean your sex life will have to stop!

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