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Menopause Madness - Libido: Top Tips for Getting the Spark Back into your Love-Life

Many women find the menopause has more than a physical effect. Pulled down by confidence, sapping weight gain, hot flushes and fatigue, the last thing they want is a hot and steamy session between the sheets. As one of our interviewees said, ‘All I want at night is an ice-pack – not a man!’

Add to this the loss of libido caused by falling progesterone and testosterone (yes, we have it too – just less than the men) and you have a recipe for sex-avoidance. For some couples this is not an issue and things get back on track when the women is post-menopause and feeling more comfortable in her own skin. For too many, it is the start of a difficult period where the former passion wanes away, is never spoken about and they drift into the wilderness of a platonic relationship. Some couples counsellors claim that a relationship without sex is just a friendship. Others say it can work if both are comfortable. But if you are missing that old intimacy; if lack of physical touch is making you feel even less confidence, then it is time to take control.

First step – work out the reason

  • Is it physical? If you are avoiding sex because of pain then there is a solution. The most likely cause is that lowered estrogen has reduced the lubrication in the vaginal wall. There’s no point waiting for it to come back – you need to add your own. Read our article on Vaginal Dryness.

  • Is it psychological? If you are feeling unattractive and old, then you need to start working on your head-space. We have all kinds of fears at this time of our life. Am I ugly? Do I wobble too much? Do I smell different? Does my hot flush turn him off? If you suspect you are suffering from depression then you need to get help with this first – then focus on the passion.

Step two – get going on the remedy

There are a number of things you can do to turn things around.

  1. Exercise.Regular exercise will help you get your body under control. It might be harder to lose weight after the menopause, but you can still focus on staying toned and in control.

  2. Pelvic floor work. Sit or lie comfortably and tense your pelvic muscles by pretending you are holding in urine before going to the loo. Hold for five, relax and keep going. Start with twenty and build up the length of time you hold the tension and the number you do. The added benefit is that you are getting your sex muscles working and also staving off the dreaded urinary leaking we so fear in old age.

  3. Supplements. Good quality supplements of magnesium and zinc are claimed by some to increase sex-drive.

  4. Topical estrogens. Not HRT but a cream or pessary inserted inside the vagina. Not only does it assist with lubrication and the thinning of the vaginal skin, but apparently increases desire too.

  5. Testosterone. Some doctors will prescribe testosterone cream. It will not make you grow a beard and biceps, but is said to really perk up your interest.

  6. Talk.  Too many men stop making the advances towards the wives because they fear either being pushed away or, worse, causing her pain. Some are feeling pretty rubbish too and think they have just lost their mojo. A frank talk about what is happening will release tension and, at least, start to get to the bottom of how you feel and what you both want. Be very careful not to accuse. The ‘you don’t make me feel like a woman any more,’ line is not a start we recommend. Better to take responsibility and say you are feeling less confident about sex – and how does he feel.

  7. Explore.Many sex counsellors insist that sex in older age can be better than when you are twenty. If you need to get back into that loving feeling start slow and easy. Cuddle, hold hands, caress, bath together, sleep naked like when you were young, pet, kiss, stroke. Most of all laugh – it’s the best aphrodisiac in the world. In no time you will be on the internet looking for toys. In fact, that just might be the answer to a post-menopausal sex life which you thought only happened in films.

If you have any other solutions or advice, please let us know at sassy@staying sassy.com


 

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