While some women feel comfortable discussing their battles with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and fatigue, many don’t easily discuss the changes in sexual health that occur at this stage of life. However, maintaining your sexual health is an important aspect of navigating the physical and emotional changes that accompany menopause.
While menopause can change the way you experience sex, it’s possible to maintain a healthy sex life throughout your lifetime. Working with a trusted provider can help you feel more comfortable discussing intimate issues and symptoms so you can get appropriate treatment.
The menopause specialists at Ovation Wellness in Madison, Mississippi, provide expert care for women struggling with the sexual changes that often accompany menopause. Our providers diagnose the source of issues that may be interfering with your sex life and provide a range of treatment options that can help you enjoy intimacy at any age.
Read on to learn how you can support your sexual health at this stage of life.
Address reduced sex drive
With regular periods, your monthly cycle triggers your sex drive to peak just before and after ovulation. When your periods cease with menopause, you may experience a decrease in natural arousal and have less interest in sex.
Low hormone levels can also cause the following symptoms that can interfere with normal sex drive:
- Mood swings
When hormonal changes affect your sex life, bioidentical replacement hormone therapy (BHRT) can return hormones to natural levels and help you feel like yourself. These plant-derived compounds are clinically identical to the hormones your body produces in sufficient amounts before menopause. BHRT can help restore balanced levels of estrogen and progesterone to help restore your sex drive as well as reduce many other common symptoms of menopause.
Manage painful intercourse
With the hormonal changes of menopause, the blood vessels in your vulva and vagina receive less estrogen. The result can cause vulvovaginal atrophy, a condition that causes vulva and vaginal tissues to lose normal thickness, elasticity, and lubrication.
Having vulvovaginal atrophy can result in changes that make these areas more vulnerable to becoming broken, bruised, and irritated. These symptoms can be intensified by the friction of intercourse.
Atrophic vaginitis, an inflammation of the vaginal tissue caused by low estrogen levels, can also occur during menopause. This condition can cause inflammation, pain, and burning that can make penetration and intercourse uncomfortable.
You may be able to restore your enjoyment of intercourse with treatment from the MonaLisa Touch®. This minimally invasive treatment administers CO2 fractional laser therapy to vaginal tissue. The effect can trigger the production of new collagen and elastin to improve vaginal elasticity and restore sexual pleasure.
Improve vaginal dryness
Prior to menopause, the arousal you experience during foreplay tells your body to produce the moisture necessary for comfortable sexual intercourse. As estrogen levels decrease with menopause, your body becomes unable to produce the amount of moisture necessary for adequate lubrication.
Without enough moisture, dry vaginal tissue can become irritated by the friction that occurs with intercourse. You may be able to resolve the problem by using over-the-counter lubricants before intercourse. Depending on your condition, BHRT or prescription medication may be appropriate.
Some women achieve relief with the O-Shot, a treatment that rejuvenates dry vaginal tissue by injecting platelets isolated from your own blood into damaged areas. The platelets contain growth factors that trigger blood flow and collagen production where they’re administered. The effect can lead to improved vaginal lubrication and sexual experience.
Treat physical conditions
It’s common to feel self-conscious and hesitant about sex because of changes in your body’s appearance. Even women who never had weight issues may find that changes in their hormones and metabolism have resulted in weight gain that makes them feel unattractive.
Professional nutritional counseling and weight management can provide the support and direction you need to establish and maintain your goal weight at this time of life. The professional staff at Ovation Wellness can determine the cause of your weight gain and advise what you can do to restore self-confidence and satisfaction with your body image.
Learn more about ways to support your sexual health by addressing the symptoms that interfere with your ability to enjoy intimacy. Call our office today to schedule a medical consultation.