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    Sex and Menopause

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    How Can I Improve My Sex Drive During and After Menopause? continued...

    Doctors are also studying whether a combo of estrogen and male hormones called androgens may help boost sex drive in women.

    Although sexual problems can be hard to discuss, talk to your doctor. There are options to consider, such as counseling. Your doctor may refer you and your partner to a health professional who specializes in sexual dysfunction. The therapist may advise sexual counseling on an individual basis, with your partner, or in a support group. This type of counseling can be very successful, even when it's done on a short-term basis.

    How Can I Improve Intimacy With My Partner?

    During menopause, if your sex drive has dropped but you don't think you need counseling, you should still take time for intimacy. You can still show your partner love and affection without having sex. Enjoy your time together: take walks, eat dinner by candlelight, or give each other back rubs.

    To improve your physical intimacy, try these tips:

    • Consider experimenting with erotic videos or books, masturbation, and changes to sexual routines.
    • Use distraction techniques to boost relaxation and ease anxiety. These can include erotic or non-erotic fantasies, exercises with sex, and music, videos, or television.
    • Have fun with foreplay, such as sensual massage or oral sex. These activities can make you feel more comfortable and improve communication between you and your partner.
    • Minimize any pain you might have by using sexual positions that allow you to control the depth of penetration. You may also want to take a warm bath before sex to help you relax, and use vaginal lubricants to help ease pain caused by friction.
    • Tell your partner what's comfortable and what's not.

    Do I Still Have to Worry About Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

    Yes. Menopause and postmenopause don't protect you against STDs. You can get an STD at any point in your life during which you're sexually active. This risk doesn't go down with age or with changes in your reproductive system.

    Left untreated, some STDs can lead to serious illnesses, while others, like HIV, cannot be cured and may be fatal.

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