Reviewed by Traci Johnson on April 16, 2018
Dr. Sujatha Reddy; Harvard Health Publications: "Painful Sex After Menopause is Common and Treatable;" The North American Menopause Society: "Pain With Penetration."
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Dr. Sujatha Reddy: Some women will look at the loss of their periods as a loss of womanhood. And if you approach menopause in a negative way, it will affect your sexual life negatively too.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: If you look at menopause as the next milestone in your life and look at it as a positive, you've reached the level of maturity,
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: you don't have to worry about pregnancy anymore, your family life is pretty much set, you can look at it as a positive thing.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: And that may impact your psychological well-being in a way that positively impacts your sex life.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: There are definitely hormone changes that occur in menopause. Your estrogen goes down, for some women, they're their testosterone will go down especially if you undergo surgical menopause.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: So for some women, the change in hormone can decrease their need or desire for Intercourse. For some women, its approach avoidance, they get a little bit of dryness during intercourse, and that pain makes them want to avoid it.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: One of the biggest detractors for libido or sex drive from women is life in general. Stress can really take away your desire for intercourse and intimacy.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: If you're fatigued and tired, as you're getting into bed every night, the last thing on your mind is making love to your partner.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: So one thing that I have found works with my patients, even though the sounds very unromantic, is actually scheduling sex. You have to make it, what I've learned to call "Date night" with your partner.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: On that date night, you guys will have an intimate dinner, a romantic walk, whatever works for you, and you should know that that is a night you guys are going to have intercourse.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: Whether it's once a week, once a month, twice a week, whatever works for you and your partner, that can really help you maintain that intimacy.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: Most professionals will tell you that to have a healthy sex life, it's all about communication, and I think that goes double in menopause. If you've been with your partner for a long time, you're comfortable.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: But in menopause, things can be different and change. It can take longer to get to the same place, orgasm can take longer. Your partner needs to understand that this isn't that he's not doing his job, your body is just different.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: While the topic of avoiding sex is personal and intimate and may be difficult to bring out with your healthcare provider, it's imperative that you feel comfortable doing so.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: And if this healthcare provider doesn't make you feel comfortable, it may be time to find a new one.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: All women will go through menopause. So remember, you are normal, you are not alone. Millions of women will go through these changes every year.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy: It's imperative to feel comfortable and bring this to your doctor's attention to get help where you might need it.