Myth No 1: You won’t want sex after menopause
Sexuality is not age bound.
- According to a survey by the National Council of Aging 70 per cent of sexually active women over 60 reported being as satisfied or more satisfied with their sex lives than they were in the 40s.
- 84 per cent of older females in 106 cultures studied in 1982 were sexually active, leading the researchers to conclude cultural factors as much as biological ones determined whether older people were sexually active or not.
- Although sexual drive may be lower, sexual desire may remain strong, depending on whether you have a partner you want to be intimate with and an appreciation that “I can still feel passionate about love at any age, if the circumstances are right.” (Eda LeShan in I Want More of Everything, New York, Newmarket Press 1994)
- Researchers have discovered when a menopausal women enters a new relationship she can be as horny as her 20 year old self. It seems it is her relationship rather than her gonads which determines how much she wants sex.
Myth No 2 Side Effects From Menopause Make Sex Difficult
Some women do experience side effects that make them feel less inclined to have sex – like vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal wall causing sensitivity, or hot flushes which cause night sweats.
However all of these can be alleviated with lifestyle changes to minimise their impact on your sex life.
Hormonal creams can be used to help with lubrication and help the vagina maintain elasticity.
Suggestions for helping you maintain a good sex life through menopause include:
- Maintain overall health – exercise regularly, don’t abuse alcohol, maintain muscle mass. Sexual health is dependent on blood flow, so keep the circulation healthy.
- Moisturise genital tissues with a lubricant. Sex therapist Dr Myrtle Wilhite from A Women’s Touch Sexuality Resource Centre suggests Liquid Silk lubricant, to help maintain the moisture and flexibility of genital tissues. Regular massage (once a day for five minutes) can help main¬tain the elasticity of your genital skin and the thick¬ness of the tissue under your vulva, and help prevent tearing.