The menopause is all part of the natural aging process, however the side-effects that it causes can impact women in nearly every area of their life, including in the bedroom.
Just some of the 34 known menopausal symptoms that some women will experience include loss of libido and a dry vagina, which will naturally put sufferers off sex, however combine that with insomnia and night sweats and sex is often the last thing on a woman’s mind.
However, the menopause doesn’t have to mean the end to intimate relationships. Here Jane Hallam, founder of Esteem – No Pause, a range of lingerie and nightwear made especially for menopausal women, shares her top tips on enjoying sex while going through the menopause.
Talk to your partner about the menopause
If they don’t know what you’re experiencing and how you’re feeling, then there is a chance your partner could feel like the problems are a reflection of your current relationship, and no one wants to make their loved one feel rejected. Be open and honest so you can work out how to address these issues together. You may be embarrassed at first but you’ll soon realise there is nothing to worry about – your partner will only want to help.
Try new things
Whether you’re with a lifelong partner or exploring a new relationship this change in your body could be the perfect excuse to try new things. If you’ve lost your libido then look into ways of reigniting that spark – either with romantic dates or perhaps even a change in diet. Did you know broccoli, figs and watermelon can all help? And don’t be afraid to try new things in the bedroom. If vaginal dryness is making sex painful and uncomfortable then look at other ways to be passionate between the sheets. Masturbation will help you relax and feel good about yourself, whilst enabling you to discover which parts of your body you now prefer to be explored and touched, and also help keep your vagina lubricated.
Use a lubricant
Vaginal dryness is one of the main reasons women go off sex during the menopause, so introducing a lubricant into your sex life could help bring the spark back. There are a number of brands that specialise in lubricants specifically for menopausal women, so don’t be afraid to give them a try.
While you are still peri-menopausal it’s advised that you still use contraception due to your fluctuating hormone levels. Avoid oil-based lubricants when using condoms as this could impact the condom causing it to rip during inter course, instead opt for a water or silicone based product.
Get some confidence
With a loss of libido, mood swings and hot flushes, the chances are you don’t feel at your sexiest during the menopause, but chances are the partner in your life is still hugely attracted to you. So make sure you make time for you and do something that you know will give you a confidence boost – whether that’s getting your hair and nails done, a new outfit or sexy lingerie. Giving yourself that je ne sais quoi back will make you feel better and could improve the relationship between you and your partner.