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Here’s a myth we’re excited to bust: The opportunity to have a great sex life does not fly out the window when you start going through menopause. In fact, more than half of women in their fifties wish they were having more sex, according to a survey about sex during midlife. While sexual desire is clearly still pretty vibrant later in life, if you’re not feeling up to it, you might need to alter your approach. Because firing up your lusty side might not be as simple as it might’ve once been.
“True sexuality is a spectrum and continuum that changes over the course of your life,” says Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a Kindra medical advisor and OB-GYN. “As you get older, if you’re pining away for what sex was like when you were younger, you’re going to have work through and process those emotions. You’re not 25 anymore: You have to put some attention and intention into it.”
And while it’s perfectly normal to feel a change in desire while you’re going through menopause (almost half of women report a dip in libido), there are ways to manage it and cultivate a healthy sex life.
“We have to elevate our education around what to expect and what's normal in our sexual health as we age,” says Dr. Juliana Hauser, a sex and relationship therapist. That all starts by taking a holistic assessment of how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. “It’s harder for people to connect with their desire during menopause. With the lowering of estrogen, it can be challenging to even become aroused,” says Dr. Hauser. “You may have a desire, and you may want to feel connected, but it could take longer to get there because your mind-body connection isn’t happening.”
We asked experts to offer ways to deepen the relationship with our changing bodies, how to talk to our partners about what we’re experiencing, and other tips for having the sex life you deserve.
Get Enough Beauty Rest
Hot flashes and mood swings are fairly common during peri/menopause. But annoying night sweats can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle and turn sex into the last item on your to-do list.
“Sleep disturbance that stems from hormonal changes impacts the quality of our sleep — and we know that when we’re not sleeping, we don’t operate well,” says Dr. Hauser. “When we’re exhausted, we’d rather sleep than have sex, or we don’t want to lose the chance at sleep to have sex — especially if it’s not great to begin with.”
Luckily, you can catch up on zzz’s by adding all-natural and estrogen-free supplements to your daily regimen. Dr. Suzanne recommends taking Kindra’s Sleep Enhancing Supplement, which is filled with a low dose of melatonin and Pycnogenol to combat hot flashes and night sweats. (In fact: Over 62 percent of women report they slept more soundly three months after adding it to their nightly routine.) “What I love about Kindra’s supplements is that they help to restore some normalcy,” says Dr. Suzanne. “When you restore your sleep and your sense of well-being, which is very hard if you’re hot-flashing all the time, you have more energy to prioritize things like sex.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Call In Reinforcements
With the natural loss of estrogen in your body, vaginal dryness and changes to your genital tissue can make sex painful. That’s where a silicone or water-based lubricant, or a moisturizer, can help. Dr. Suzanne recommends Kindra’s best-selling Daily Vaginal Lotion. “It helps with moisture retention and pH balance,” she says. Don’t just expect your body to get itself ready without a little assistance. “The same old, same old is probably not going to continue to work,” says Dr. Suzanne.
Talk About the Changes You’re Experiencing with Your Partner
You don’t have to keep the changes you’re observing all to yourself. Dr. Hauser recommends talking openly with your partner. “Being in touch with your feelings about how you're addressing these body changes is the first step — you have to know yourself,” says Dr. Hauser. “But I also really recommend speaking to your partner about these changes up front, saying, ‘This is vulnerable for me’ or ‘This is hard to say’.” That way, your partner can be aware of how your bodily changes are affecting you emotionally, and help you re-discover what sex looks like in your relationship.
Figure Out What Makes You Feel Sexy
It may sound obvious, but if you’re looking to supercharge your sex life, figuring out what turns you on can help. “Figure out what that means to you: maybe it’s taking a bath, paying more attention to yourself, wearing lingerie, or even having sex,” explains Dr. Hauser. Research actually shows that taking a warm bath not only helps loosen you up, it can also alleviate grogginess. Drawing a calming bath with all-natural soap, like Kindra’s new Soothe Bath Soak, will not only have a calming affect (thanks to the chamomile), but it’s designed to add moisture back to your intimate areas to help make sex feel more comfortable.
And Ask Your Partner What They Find Sexy in You
Just be sure they get specific. “People who talk about not feeling sexy or who are having a negative relationship with their body don’t believe their partner’s compliments, or they start feeling invisible,” says Dr. Hauser. “I tell people to get specific. Say, ‘I love this curve,’ or ‘I love this part of your neck.’ Giving specific points usually lands more and is more interesting than a blanket, ‘You’re hot,’ statement. That doesn’t seem to work for somebody who’s struggling already.”
Want to read the other 4 tips on how to maintain a thriving sex life during menopause? Read the full article on KCM.
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Dryness that I didn’t know I had that problem. I just knew something was going on.