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Sex and Menopause

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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.

How Can I Protect Myself From STDs?

Take some basic steps to help protect yourself from STDs:

  • Not having sex is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
  • Use a latex condom every time you have sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch an STD.
  • Practice monogamy. This means having sex with only one person. That person must also have sex with only you to lower your risk.
  • Choose your sex partners with care. Don't have sex with someone who you suspect might have an STD.
  • Get checked for STDs. Don't risk giving the infection to someone else.
  • Ask a potential sex partner to be checked for STDs. Symptoms of STDs may not be visible or even cause any symptoms for your partner.
  • If you have more than one sex partner, always use a condom.
  • Don't use alcohol or drugs before you have sex. You may be less likely to practice safe sex if you're drunk or high.
  • Know the symptoms of STDs.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on June 13, 2014
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