In our society, sex seems to be reserved for young, fit people. It’s as if it stops when you’re over fifty and have the first grey pubic hair.
Yes, many women struggle with decreased libido, but this is something that can be improved with the right tools and attitude.
Let’s cover some common sex myths and common issues and what you can do about these.
3 sex myths for women over 50s:
Sex myth #1: Middle-aged women no longer want to have sex and are happy when it’s “over”.
Yes, the changing hormones might mess up your libido, but HRT can do miracles to the way you feel as well as your sex drive.
According to a 2016 study published on NCBI examining postmenopausal women’s attitude towards sex, 96% of women reported having sex in menopause as a natural normal part of life, 95% admitted to having sex to make their partner happy whereas 77% reported sex as a method to make themselves happy.
Sex myth #2: Sex is like riding a bike.. even when you’re over 50
The sad truth is that sex is quite different when you’re older. If you’ve had a period of abstinence in your 20s or 30s, you can easily go back to having sex and things would run almost as though you never took a break from sex. It’s a different story when you’re middle-aged. Even if you’ve had HRT, you’re prone to experiencing vaginal dryness which can make sex very uncomfortable. If you haven’t had sex for a while, be prepared for it to be painful and uncomfortable the first time. Luckily, you can make it much more enjoyable with the right lubricants (such as our water-based Motion Lotion) or vaginal moisturisers (such as MegsMenopause‘s Blossom Balm).
Sex Myth # 3: Older people rarely play with one another
You can’t generalise things. It’s not the case that you’re either living a sexless life or a “cougar” who “still has it” and is lucky enough to have sex. It depends on how you feel physically, whether you’re freshly single or have been in a long-term partnership for a long time.
There are wonderful marriages that enjoy many years of happy sex and the partners can keep the spark alive thanks to open communication, changing things up and experimenting in the bedroom. Sex differs in different middle-aged couples – e.g., some couples like to include more oral sex or sex toys in the bedroom, others are happy to stick to penetrative sex.
When it comes to your vagina: use it or lose it! Women who continuously have a lot of sex have significantly fewer problems with their vagina and continue to feel at home in their bodies.
Common sexual problems and what to do about them
Almost half of all women have sexual problems during and after menopause.
Sex Issue #1: You can’t get turned on
Solution: Increase lubrication.
You can experiment until you find the right one, but water- or silicone-based ones work well to reduce friction. MegsMenopause’s water-based Motion Lotion is formulated to provide extra silky lubrication that helps alleviate discomfort. It contains natural ingredients and it’s completely odourless, unlike other lubricants. It’s also fine to use with condoms
You can also use a vaginal moisturiser, which is absorbed into your skin and sticks to the vaginal mucosa (unlike lubricants which are used just before sex, vaginal moisturisers are to be used daily).
Professional advice: Stick to water- or silicone-based lubricants: Oil-based lubricants or Vaseline can actually increase the risk of vaginal irritation and infection
Sex Issue #2: You have trouble reaching orgasm
Solution: Try a new sex toy.
Orgasms become less common after you go through menopause, and even if you reach a climax, it will be weaker.
There are so many types of sex toys – Rabbits, G- spot vibrators, Magic Wands, Bullet Vibratos, Wands… You don’t need to do much other than lie down and let the pleasure take over your body.
Professional advice: Be sure to clean your vibrator after each use with mild soap and warm water and dry it well with a towel, otherwise it may contain bacteria that can lead to infection.
Sex Issue #3: Sex is too painful
Solution: Consider vaginal laser therapy.
If you constantly feel pain during sex and have ruled out other medical conditions (such as infections, chronic stress or even IBS) and the use of lubricants or moisturisers has not helped, there are other treatments you can consider.
Vaginal laser treatments might sound like pure torture, but some postmenopausal women claim that it has saved their sex lives. They stimulate the production of collagen in your vagina, which helps to rebuild tissue and moisturise your lady parts.
Professional advice: Don’t undergo laser therapy until you have had an updated Pap test and a thorough examination by your doctor to make sure there are no other medical problems such as uterine fibroids that are causing the pain.
Final words about sex during menopause
Sex is an important part of life. When your libido is declining after many years of healthy sex drive, you may feel sadness, confusion or grief.
It’s important to remember, though, that there is a lot you can do about it. Sex is different, but it doesn’t need to be worse. If you address problems as they come up and work at staying sexually active, sex can be part of your life for many more years to come.