How are you today? Hope everything is great in your life and that you are embracing the over 50 life!
Today's blog is about sex and the menopause. For some reason society speaks in hushed tones about women and sex after 50 as if we are written off. Conversely guys are still portrayed as studs! I have decided to address this right now! Women over 50 are sexy and sexual!
I know from research and girlfriend conversations that menopausal and post menopausal women have worries and questions about their sex lives so I have written this to help you out. Hopefully you will discover some great news and learn that you are "normal"!
As we approach the menopause, hit it and sail past it, our oestrogen levels have dropped quite significantly to when were in our 20s and 30s. The dropping of this hormone can have some side effects as we are probably quite well aware. These can include myriad symptoms like hot flushes, irritability etc. It also has an effect on our sexual body parts:
* boobs may become less bouncy,
* the inner under carriage can become a little dryer which can cause uncomfortable or even painful sex.
When you add this to our body shapes often changing, disturbed sleep and exhaustion it is no wonder some women report a significant drop in their libido
Libido (/lᵻˈbiːdoʊ/), colloquially known as sex drive, is a person's overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity. Sex drive is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.
If you read much of the media you'd think we had turned into Granny Dried Up and are only good for cooking and cleaning. Well I have news for these morons....they are missing out! They are spouting rubbish!
If you want to enjoy a happy healthy love life after menopause there is absolutely no reason why you cant. Research shows that many post menopause women have amazing sex lives and do so until the day they die. There's some fab news for us too:
* we are likely to be more multi orgasmic! ( one over the men there!) aka. FEMOS.
* we are likely to be more orgasmic than our younger counterparts (ha!)
This is mainly attributed to:
* We can quit worrying about contraception once we have had a full run of 12 months without a period,
* We are fab in bed from gaining experience,
* Our partners also have more experience and (ought to) know what gets us hot,
* Often men can't keep up with us and that is probably why many a women has had a toy boy fling, and
* Amongst women aged 45 - 65 research discovered that 55% of women really enjoyed sex and....you will love this.....6% would love it more if they had a different partner! (Christine Webber 2015)
Of course this is great news but let's remember that not all women are able to enjoy their sex life as they would want to. Don't panic if this is you as there are solutions.
Vaginal Dryness can create soreness which makes sex uncomfortable. Take a trip to your local store or even supermarket and pick up some lube. There are so many on the market and its not just sold to the over 50s, its for anyone wanting a fun sex life. If this doesn't work for you speak to your GP about a vaginal hormone cream.
Night Sweats / Hot Flushes
Unfortunatley these make you feel hot for all the wrong reasons! Hardly the kind of hot action between the sheets we are looking for. The thought of your partners heated body on you isn't going to raise the romance stakes is it? Check out my VLOG - TOP TIPS TO DEAL WITH HOT FLUSHES / FLASHES to find out how to cope with hot flushes and night sweats.
SUI (stress urinary incontinence) can arise just as you hit bass!
Feeling Body Conscious
Our bodies can change and it can feel as tough we are unattractive. Rest assured your partner is ageing at the same age and he or she still fancies you. Get over it! You are beautiful. Take a look at the young women around you I promise very few look better than you.
Loss of Libido
Only a minority of women actually complain about a lack of interest in sex as post menopausal women. YAY! If you do suffer from a lack of libido speak to your partner. Let them know that you love them and are not rejecting them.
Mood Swings/Insomnia/ Depression
Let's be serious who is going to enjoy sex feeling like this especially when for women sex is largely in the mind?
There is more great news though!
By and large we can deal with these issues. Good valid advice from your GP, counselling with a therapist who is experienced with these issues can be really useful as can talking with a loving understanding partner. Some problems can be treated with hormones.
Its fair to say that hormones are not a single answer and HRT wont turn you into a horny sex beast over night. in the medical journal "Sex and Relationship Therapy" it was noted that HRT can be extremely useful, however, they emphasise that GPs and Therapists need to look more deeply into womens psychological needs to help them have happy successful sex lives.
For vaginal dryness a low dose hormone cream can really help. You will need to speak to your GP and understand that it can only be used in the short term. However, it may just help long enough to help you through a difficult phase. HRT can also be helpful for this, but again, you must speak to your GP who can help you with information to make a decision about the route you take.
Currenlty there are five types of oestrogen treatments available int he UK on the NHS.
The names are:
Gynest Cream (estriol
Vagifem (such a nice name!) (estradiol)
Estring Vaginal Ring ( estradiol)
Ortho-Gynest Pessary (estriol)
Ovestin Cream (estriol).
There is a possible concern that the hormones could leak into your system. Speak to your GP for advice. There is also a small chance that if you have a male partner they can absorb some of the oestrogen and develop small moobs. Mind you there seem to be a lot of men around with non hormonal moobs...I certainly saw quite a few in Corfu!
Testosterone and your sex drive
I know it's largely a male hormone but our ovaries do produce a small amount. Some GPs believe that loss of libido can be caused by this lack of testorone. They may prescribe a tablet, implant or injection. A word of note here is that the majority of GPs don't agree with this approach. In 2013, 3330 American women were researched in a Michigan University study. The results showed that testosterone plays a very minor role in post menopausal women's ability to have a happy sex life.
Can I enjoy sex after the menopause?
Of course! Have I not convinced you yet? Women enjoy sex as much as men! Many women have a far higher sex drive than men! And don't forget that as we age we get more orgasmic! Young men might be at it 5 times a day but as they age they certainly can't keep that rate or other things up! Many women find their libido increases so a trip to buy a sex toy might be necessary. Don't be embarrassed. The shop is full of happy women!
The fact that your partner will take longer to climax as they age can be a complete bonus! It gives you lovely time to build up yourself and it wont' all be over in a heartbeat! You will have time to explore each other and enjoy the moment!
A final word....if penetrative sex isn't for your relationship, never forget to keep touching each other.
Touch is so important and intimate. In fact often touch is more intimate than sex. Embrace the tenderness and reassurance cuddles and intimate touching brings.
I really hope that today's article has been useful for you. Don't forget that if you have questions that you don't want to be seen in the public domain you can join our closed Facebook group, where all members are vetted before being allowed to join, at Savvy n Sassy - refuse to be invisible!
Have a wonderful day!
Janie S xxx