Menopause can be a real rollercoaster—and that can impact women's sex lives. It can cause women's libidos to climb, suddenly drop, and then climb again due to the combination of estrogen and women's own levels of testosterone powering this wild cycle.
During peri-menopause, the years leading up to menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate wildly while testosterone levels shift gradually, causing an imbalance in the production of sex hormones. After the last period, sex can be uninteresting or worse--painful.
"Fortunately, there are ways to increase pleasure and spark interest even with the hormonal highs and lows," said Nancy Reame, PhD, Professor at Columbia University School of Nursing and a Certified Menopause Director and expert on women's health.
"The post-menopausal brain is a powerful sex organ. Use it to keep your interest sparked and your body ready," said Reame.
Reame offers the following tips for both inside and outside of the bedroom for women at this stage of life to better enjoy their sex lives:
• Take sensual baths or share massages with your partner to get you in the mood
• Improve your diet; eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
• Exercise regularly.
• Get the recommended hours of sleep each night.
• Talk to your healthcare provider about using topical estrogen creams or the estrogen ring to prevent pain and tearing during intercourse.
• Ask your doctor about a combo estrogen/testosterone pill.
Columbia University School of Nursing