Your sex life doesn’t have to stop just because your period does. If anything, the ability to have sex with your partner without worrying about getting pregnant or having your plans ruined by a surprise period can be liberating.
Sex after menopause can come with challenges, but there are plenty of ways to still get as much pleasure and enjoyment out of intimacy as before. Here’s everything you need to know to make this phase of your life the most exciting yet.
How Can Sex Change After Menopause?
Although sex after menopause can still be mind-blowing, there’s no denying that your body has undergone some profound physical changes. What are those changes, and how do they affect your sexual performance and enjoyment? Let’s take a closer look.
One of the most significant changes that menopause brings is an increased probability of vaginal dryness. Although using the proper vaginal lubrication or vaginal moisturizers can help, it’s good to know exactly why this happens (and that it’s not your fault).
Vaginal dryness is the most common side effect of menopause due to changes in the body’s natural estrogen levels. Estrogen has a lot of essential roles, like creating lubrication and keeping the vagina elastic.
Without enough estrogen to perform those jobs, vaginal tissue can start to thin and become inflamed, leading to a condition called vaginal atrophy. Plus, you’re far more likely to get menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats (if these get too intense, talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options like hormone therapy or vaginal estrogen therapy).
Many people notice that their urge to get down and dirty tends to slow down after menopause. In your 20s, your sex drive may have been high enough that you were ready to go at a moment’s notice, even without foreplay.
Sex after menopause can be a little more challenging because of a lack of desire. The reasons for changes to your sexual desire are complex and are often both physical and mental. Anxiety and depression are common, especially during menopause, putting you on edge and making even the most minor interactions feel stressful.
Painful sex can be a part of life for many postmenopausal people. With the natural thinning of the vaginal tissue and a higher likelihood of experiencing vaginal dryness, sex can come with friction and discomfort. In addition to the actual pain, the fear of that pain occurring can also lead to anxiety around having sex.
A handful of gynecological conditions can cause painful sex after menopause. Even though you can usually resolve any pain by using plenty of lube and taking your time, always have new pain checked out by your gynecologist.
When you’re worried about sex being uncomfortable or having trouble getting aroused, orgasms can seem to be always just out of reach. Decreased blood flow to the genital region can mean lower sensitivity to the clitoris, which leads to orgasms taking more time to achieve.
Some people also notice that their orgasms are less intense than they used to be, which reduces the payoff even more. While orgasms aren’t the only reason to have sex with your partner, going into a sexual encounter knowing it might be a struggle can dull the shine of intimacy. But it doesn’t have to — let’s look at some options for making sex after menopause steamier than ever.
How Can You Make Sex Better After Menopause?
Sex after menopause can come with some unique challenges. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make sex better after you’ve gone through “the change,” and we’re here to show you exactly how.
Don’t just settle for decreased sensation and lackluster orgasms. Introducing vibrators and other vibrating sex toys into your sexual activity can help you get just the increased stimulation you need to get off.
There are hundreds of different options, including toys for penetration, toys meant to stimulate your G-spot, or those you can use externally on just the clitoris. Buy a few and see what you like best.
Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to use them on you, too; this keeps them involved and gives them a little more self-confidence that you still want to have fun with them.
There’s no arguing that lube is a real game-changer, no matter how old or what stage of life you’re in. But lubrication alone won’t turn you on, which is why we make our Awaken Arousal Oil with Organic Botanicals. When massaged liberally into the clitoris, vulva, labia, and vaginal opening, it takes five to 30 minutes to experience enhanced arousal and more intense orgasms.
Like vibrating sex toys, arousal oil helps to counteract a decrease in sensitivity that many menopausal and postmenopausal people experience.
Foreplay can significantly affect how much you enjoy sex after menopause. Focusing on ensuring you’re turned on and ready to go can increase your natural lubrication and get your head in the game.
The more aroused you are, the more likely you will reach orgasm. Plus, it’s nice to be the center of attention — you deserve it. Talk to your partner about what you like, and don’t be afraid to guide them in the right direction.
Many of us have faked orgasms instead of speaking up, and it’s time to stop doing that and start having them for real. Any good partner interested in pulling their weight in the bedroom will be grateful for the opportunity to get you off.
No matter what you decide to do in the bedroom, clear communication is non-negotiable. Talking to your partner about any sexual dysfunction or concerns about your sex life can help you feel less alone with your struggles.
Your partner may even think of some potential solutions to help! Even if you’ve been with your partner for years, you can’t expect them to intuit how you feel without being told.
Letting them in also fosters a greater sense of trust, maybe even allowing you to take your relationship to a new level. If you’re struggling with how to open up to your partner, consider seeing a counselor together.
You’ll be amazed at how much it can improve your relationship if you’re willing to be vulnerable. It won’t happen overnight, but working together toward a common goal can make you even closer.
Postmenopausal people have just as much fun in the bedroom as everyone else. There’s always time to introduce new things into your sexual relationship, providing both are consenting and open to it.
Try masturbation with or in front of your partner, a new position, or a sex act you haven’t tried before (like anal or role-play). Sit down and talk to your partner about their wildest fantasies, and share yours with them.
You never know what you’ve been missing or were too intimidated to tell each other. You might even have some shared fantasies or fetishes you never knew about.
The Bottom Line
Sex after menopause may have changed some, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be as satisfying and fun as before. Take advantage of our Sex & Intimacy Collection to help keep your lubrication flowing and your arousal level high.
Combined with sex life hacks like focusing on foreplay, trying something new, and fostering open communication with your partner, you’ll get your groove back in no time.
Experiencing Vaginal Dryness? Here's What You Need to Know. | ACOG
Pain with Penetration, Sexual Side Effects of Menopause | The North American Menopause Society
Decreased Response and Pleasure, Sexual Side Effects of Menopause | The North American Menopause Society
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