Sexuality Post Menopause

Menopause marks a transitional period in every woman’s life.  Physical and psychological symptoms arise from changing levels of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinising hormones (LH), along with the state of your adrenals.   How does this impact our sexuality?  We are probably aware of symptoms such as vaginal dryness, which can be easily remedied with a water based lubricant, but what about decreased sexual desire?

Sex therapy can support women transitioning through menopause to maintain a healthy sex life

 

Many menopausal physical symptoms are related to adrenal health.  The adrenals take over production of oestrogen and oestrone, and can easily be depleted by this process.  Depleted adrenals often give rise to sudden sensations of anxiety, fear, nervousness and exhaustion.  If we feel exhausted, this also impacts sexual desire.  If we can increase energy levels, then sexual desire may naturally increase.  So if you are a worrier, need coffee to get through the day, prone to fatigue or have trouble sleeping, it may be time to invest in your adrenal glands.

If we are getting symptoms of adrenal depletion it is essential to eat well, sleep enough and replenish ourselves with relaxation practices such as yoga, meditation, qigong, acupuncture.

Drinking water and deep breathing also help replenish the adrenal glands.

There is some good news about menopause and that is FSH and LH levels rise to the levels we experience at ovulation and stay there.  These hormonal changes serve as extra neurotransmitters in the right side of brain.  The effects of this are increased creativity, intuition and visionary experiences.   With increased creativity, we can improve our sex lives by “thinking outside the box” and create a sexual experience that is fun and pleasurable. 

Menopause is also an opportunity of great healing and a time to focus on where we want to focus our energies.  If we want a nourishing and rewarding sex life, menopause can be the time to create one.  Throughout our reproductive years, the dominating hormone keep us psychological and physically in a space that is based on attracting a mate and caring for children or others.  We can loose sight of our own individual goals as our primary goal is to keep the balance and to focus on others. At menopause these hormones shift dramatically.  The nurturer role subsides and women can choose where they focus their energy.   It can be a time when we focus on our own sexual desires and unique sense of sexuality and how we wish to express ourselves as women.

One word of caution is that menopause can be a challenging time for some women who have unfinished business in their life. When oestrogen diminishes, it is said that a veil is lifted and we often are confronted with trauma we were previously able to “block out”.  During perimenopause, (similar to PMS) a woman’s buried trauma and unresolved issue come to the surface and can show up as physical and emotional issues if avoided.   It is a time of great healing and, at menopause, we are strong enough to face our wounds from the past.  It is a window of opportunity to attend to unfinished business with the help of a qualified therapist. With the support of a therapist, women can transition through menopause with greater ease and confidence.  Menopause can represent a time of personal growth and creativity, which can enhance rather then diminish our sexual lives.

*i would like to thank Jane Hardwicke Collings for providing the information in this section, which i found so inspiring.