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Partner, Good Health Important for Sex After Menopause

Partner, Good Health Important for Sex After MenopauseFor many women, sex goes on the back burner after menopause. But it doesn’t have to.

In a recent survey of 4,418 postmenopausal women, just 3% reported “positive sexual experiences,” scientists have reported.

Only 6% had sought help from a healthcare provider for sexual problems.

Sometimes called “the change of life,” menopause occurs when a woman’s estrogen levels drop substantially, and she stops menstruating. Estrogen is an important hormone for vaginal health, and many women experience vaginal dryness and painful intercourse as a result.

The average age of the study participants was 64 years. Sixty-five percent had a partner, but only 23% said they were sexually active.

Menopause wasn’t the only factor affecting the women’s sex lives. For the participants who weren’t having sex, the researchers noted the following reasons:
 

Reason % of women affected
Partner’s medical condition 27%
Lack of a partner/widowhood 23%
Partner’s sexual problem 14%
Menopause-related symptoms 13%
Medication side effects 7%


Low libido (in either the woman or her partner), relationship problems, logistics, and perceptions of aging were other listed factors.

The study was published in July 2019 in the journal Menopause.

If you feel that your sex life is not the same since menopause, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Sex is important at any age, and maintaining good overall health is key. If vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable, consider using a lubricant or moisturizer.

If you’ve lost your partner, give yourself time to grieve. And if you’re feeling ready for it, consider dating again. Participating in fun activities can help you meet all kinds of interesting people.

Resources

Menopause, via PubMed

Harder, H., et al.
“Sexual functioning in 4,418 postmenopausal women participating in UKCTOCS: a qualitative free-text analysis”
(Abstract. Published: July 8, 2019)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31290761


The North American Menopause Society via EurekAlert!

“Why sex becomes less satisfying with age”
(Press release. July 10, 2019)
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/tnam-wsb070919.php