Since You Asked: Menopause and Sex

Since you asked, this week, Susan advises on navigating loss of libido during menopause as well as vaginal dryness.

Hello and welcome to another week of the Since You Asked show. This comes from a 49-year-old early menopausal woman. She’s considered to be menopausal because she’s been in menopause for more than a year. And she writes that, basically, when she went through menopause, she went through libido-pause; and she just doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of desire for sex.

In fact, she said, you know, is my machine broken? The other thing she says, and this is certainly common, she is experiencing a lot of vaginal dryness. She finds that because it is dry as the Mojave Desert, there’s also pain with sexual intercourse. And then lastly, she ends it by saying, “Quite frankly, to be honest, I’m just bored.”

So, dear Bored, Dry and Libido-less. You join, unfortunately, an elite group of women who all suffer around the time they find themselves in their mid-forties. Because 45 seems to be about that time where we start to see women come out of the closet, if you would, and talk about the fact that they’re no longer interested in having sex the way they used to — if they ever had it.

We hear lots of complaints about a loss of libido. We hear an enormous amount about dryness, which is definitely both of those things, symptoms that are exacerbated by menopause. And then lastly, the boring part. And then I feel like that’s for episode two. So in this episode, I’m going to address the libido component and the arid desert component, and then I think we’ll leave the answer for spicing it up in the bedroom to a second follow-up of this, because there’s just so much to discuss.

One of the things that I think women in their mid-forties, and then finding themselves in menopause, is that if they’re still in a marriage, their marriage has taken sort of an adaptability to what their life is about. If they have children at this age, they may for the first time be looking at being empty nesters. And again, that’s not necessarily the case.

Some women are having babies for the first time at 50. Of course, they wouldn’t be in menopause. There’s all variations of that. Whatever the case may be, there’s a lot going on at this stage. And libido, as we know, can be affected by menopause. It can be affected by medications. And then there’s a lot to be said about what’s going on psychologically.

What are the things that you associate with your sex life? Have you always had an exciting sex life or not? And one of the things that I tell women about is that at 49, 50, 55, 60, you’re not the same woman that you were when you were 20 or 30. That being said, you are longing for, most likely, almost a redo of your sexual life and how you know it.

Sometimes I think women come into this phase of their life thinking they’re just going to spice up their sex life and it’s all going to happen. Almost like weight loss. But you realize you can’t build a roof, as quoted by my dear friend Dr. Juliana Hauser, who is a sexual therapist, she said, “You can’t build a roof where there is no foundation or house.”

And I think couples, but women, particularly, at this age, you need to go back to the drawing board. And were they ever educated about sex and how it works and how to prolong your lust, if you would. And that also comes from the way you feel about yourself. A lot of data suggests that women are very peaked in their sort of sexual needs and tendencies and urges at this time of their life.

And sometimes that happens to not coincide with the man’s needs. And I even read that, in some cases, which I thought was fascinating, women replace their sexual urges with eating. Oh my gosh. That explains so much. That explains so much. So, almost in an episode devoted to itself, libido — certainly there’s hormonal replacement therapy, also HRT, what I like to jokingly refer to as maybe you need Husband Replacement Therapy.

You have to build the foundation again and address the things in a very vulnerable, honest talk that says, look, I’m not getting what I need and I don’t want to give up sex and my sexuality at 50. Goodness, you guys are just babies at 50. I don’t know how old he is, but you guys are essentially babies and you are entitled to have a good sex life.

A good sex life just adds to the layers of wonderfulness of life. The more sex you have, the more sex you’re going to want. The more it improves vascular flow to the genitalia, the more it creates an intimacy, because you now are starting to treat each other with love and kindness and looking forward to that, even if it doesn’t mean just having sexual intercourse, if it means just making out or kissing somebody on the neck or reminding them what’s special about themselves.

And the other thing about libido is that you can also seek out sexual counseling. People get physical trainers. They get life coaches. Why can’t we get sex coaches to sort of infuse those things that maybe we never learned in our lifetime because of our culture, because of where we grew up, because our parents never talked to it. I still teach young women that when they get their period for the first time, they think they’re dying and hemorrhaging because no one talked to that.

And that’s in 2024. And those are not uneducated or poor young women. We need to have honest discussions about sex and we don’t have enough of that. So I’m so appreciative that you shared that with me. I also, in regard to libido, if you have a low libido, often what happens is you’re sort of not in a state of mind to get aroused.

And with arousal, with the female comes lubrication. And the good news in 2024 is that there are so many things available to you to help with that. And these are not your mama’s lubricants. They are well thought of. They’re organic. They are part of your body’s ph, you can sort of pamper, you know, the lady bits like Cleopatra and make homage to them and revitalize them.

Then there’s vaginal estrogen. Vaginal estrogen is a miracle cream for the vagina. What that does in a short period of time is re plumps up that tissue. And if you’re not having painful sex, you might be able to sort of sit in it, if you would, and enjoy it, because pain, dryness, abrasion, low libido, boring does not contribute to hot, sexy making love.

That’s it for this part of this recording. I think next week we’ll touch on the big one, which is how to spice up your marriage and the things that are available tool-wise for that. So again, I thank you all so much for watching our episodes. Please send us your questions. We love to get your feedback and we’re finding that more and more people are getting sort of brave enough to share their thoughts. They are spilling the tea and I love it!

And I love you guys. Have a wonderful week.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.


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