Menopause and Sex. Resources.
When peri-menopause starts and your hormones get on that rollercoaster ride, everything changes, including your sex drive, arousal, desire, ability to orgasm, your body, your genitals, your emotions, and your relationships - your relationship with your partner, yourself, your family, your body; and your relationship with sex and pleasure.
It’s a transformation, all right. Metamorphosis. A spiritual journey, if I may.
And while it’s wise to accept the changes you are going through, it doesn’t mean that everything is now declining and will never be as good as before. Many women report that it gets even better - life, and SEX!
But before it gets better many women feel very alone, confused, frustrated, disappointed. "Where did my sex drive go?", "Why can't I orgasm like I used to?". "Am I the only one? What's wrong with me?" The same touch that you used to love doesn't do anything anymore. Orgasms became elusive, not as strong or fulfilling. Or they seems to disappear.
Here are some resources I wanted to share, as a Sex Therapist, and as a women going through this transition myself.
"Tantric Sex and Menopause: Practices for Spiritual and Sexual Renewal"
By Diana Richardson. I love her books “Tantric Orgasm for Women”, I was glad she wrote about menopause as well.
You’ve probably heard of “Wisdom of Menopause” by Christiane Northrup, but have you read her “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause”? Give it a try!
No nonsense approach to Menopause form a OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter "The Menopause Manifesto" She is the author of "The Vagina Bible", and she tells it like it is. Health. Facts. Feminism.
And if you are looking for a non-traditional approach: "Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90"by Susun S. Wed
"Anatomy of Pleasure" and "Sex, Love & Goop" are very good. I so wish there was a show about sex and menopause. I hear there are some in the works about sex and aging.
If sex became painful or uncomfortable, as it often does through the transition, there are many things you can do.
If it is dryness - see info on Lubricants below.
If it is pains - as always, talk to your doctor about it and in the meantime read
"Heal pelvic pain. A proven stretching, strengthening and nutrition program for relieving pain, incontinence, IBS, and other symptoms without surgery." By Amy Stein, M.P.T.
Sex in Menopause:
The best advice for women who are aging - Vaginal Renewal program from FeMani - use it as a prevention or a rehabilitation program once you start experiences discomfort during intercourse, if it’s been a while since you had sex, if you had cancer treatment.
A Woman’s Touch, Sexuality Resource Centers a brilliant resource for women and it's all about sex.
Here’s their extensive guide to sex in menopause (including Good Sex Diet)
Lubricant is your best friend when it comes to menopausal changes - dryness, sand paper feeling, burning sensations. It’s not fun, but often there’s a very simple solution. Find what works for you, avoid petroleum and glycerin if you are sensitive and make sure you do your research if you use condoms or toys.
Please talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your body. For sex to work well, we need healthy skin, heart, nerve endings, we depend on hormones and neurotransmitters, we need a strong mind body connection, we need a healthy diet and exercise. Different health conditions and medications can impact sex drive, arousal, ability to orgasm. Some of it might be outside of your control, and you need tools to work with it. Some of it you can easily change. It's a good project to explore!
I hope this was helpful. We are just starting this conversation.
Part of my work is Sex Therapy (In Calgary and Online worldwide). We create a space of gentleness and kindness, we create safety to talk about sex, intimacy, pleasure, our bodies - from the heart. I love working with women going through menopause. It can be a very confusing and frustrating time, and there's so much we can do about it. If you are in a relationship, this can have a huge impact, and I have some great ways how we can talk about sex and menopause in Couples Counselling. If you have any questions, I'd love to support you.