As women age their sexual patterns may alter. Ageing does not imply a gradual decrease in sexual activity ultimately leading to celibacy. While it is a universal fact that menopause ensures the expiration of natal possibility, it does not have to mean a ridding of sexual desire.
As oestrogen levels decline during menopause women experience dryness of the vagina and a general desensitisation of the genitals. They may feel increasingly unable to stretch the vagina for intercourse to its earlier capacity. The result is painful intercourse. A non medical solution is the use of lubrication and dilation of the vagina. As they age vaginal walls may become thinner.
With the decline of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, sexual desire may dwindle. The period of menopause is delicate as women are more concerned about other physical manifestations such as hot flashes as well as mood swings. Hormone Replacement Treatment has become popular. Sometimes testosterone is also administered which greatly enhances sexual desire. Oestrogen ensures natural lubrication of the vagina.
Blood pressure and diabetes interfere with sexual desire. To keep cholesterol levels in check and insulin levels up is to guarantee a healthy sex life too.
Drugs like anti depressants and medication for diabetics can lead to a loss of interest in sex. Some drugs may cause vaginal dryness even when symptoms of menopause have not set it. A thorough discussion with the gynaecological side effects is a must before consuming any medication. Consult the doctor for counter medication to cure the problem. Viagra has been noted in some cases to benefit women. However, a casual experimentation is advised against.
Images in media constantly push a youthful feminine body ideal. It can create anxiety in ageing women as they might become less confident about their shape. To shun sexual experiences at the alter of youth would be self punishment. To use the experience one has garnered in the matters of sex in one’s life is to be mature. On the other hand age brings with it confidence and an increased sense of self assurance. Some women however, buy into ideas of youth as the only deserving party for pleasure and ruin their own sense of sensuality.
Many women find a new sexual freedom after menopause sets in. Since there is no longer the fear of unwanted pregnancy women may become more sexually expressive and even open to experiments. This is the time to exercise caution and ensure safe sex as they are as vulnerable to STIs as anyone else. Also, some women may experience irregular desire ranging from extreme arousal to complete disconnection owing to the mood swings common during menopause.
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