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    How to have better sex after menopause

      |  Oct 20, 2023

    How does menopause impact your sex life?

    Menopause, and the years leading up to it, known as perimenopause, create large hormonal changes within your body as your menstrual cycle comes to an end. 

    During perimenopause and menopause, your body rapidly stops producing the levels of key sex hormones required for production: testosterone and estrogen. As estrogen is responsible for maintaining the health, elasticity, and blood flow of the vaginal tissue, low levels of estrogen can lead to vaginal dryness, low libido, and pelvic floor dysfunction, all which either makes sex uncomfortable or diminishes your desire to have sex entirely. Testosterone also declines with age, and begins to lower even before many women reach menopause. By age 40, a woman can expect to have 50% less testosterone, and a lowered libido as a result.

    However, the start of menopause is not the end of your sex life. Treatments ranging from personal lubricants to hormone replacement therapy have been proven to help women take back control of their sex lives as they age, and might even improve their sexual experiences.

    The symptom: Vaginal Dryness

    Estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your vagina, including lubrication, elasticity, and thickness of the vaginal walls. Low estrogen levels can cause these walls to become thin, dry, and inflamed, making vaginal intercourse painful. Vaginal dryness can also impact daily life — some women experience pain when putting on underwear, or throughout the day. 

    How to Treat Vaginal Dryness:

    One of the most common treatments for vaginal dryness is a personal lubricant. Personal lubricants can be applied prior to or during intercourse to replicate the vagina’s natural lubrication and make sex more comfortable. But not all lubricants are created equal. For example, silicon based lubes are better for sensitive skin, but can degrade silicone sex toys (making them harder to sanitize), while oil based lubes aren’t recommended for condom use. We recommend paying attention to the ingredients in whatever lubricant you choose. JoyLux’s Photonic Gel was designed by OBGYNs, is made with only safe and clean ingredients, and is pH balanced for vaginal use. 

    For more long term results, consider a treatment like Votiva Intravaginal Radiofrequency. The treatment, which involves inserting a device vaginally for 15 - 20 minutes 3 times over the course of 6 weeks, emits RF energy to the vaginal tissue, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fibers. By increasing blood flow to the vaginal tissues, Votiva Intravaginal Radiofrequency can improve both lubrication and sensation during vaginal intercourse. Once treatments with a licensed clinician are complete, you can prolong the effects of treatment with an at-home device like vFit Gold

    The Symptom: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

    Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that impairs the functioning of the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles are responsible for maintaining urinary continence, stabilizing the pelvis, and supporting sexual function. Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. Similar to vaginal dryness, pelvic floor dysfunction is associated with lower estrogen levels in postmenopausal women that lower elasticity and blood flow in the pelvic tissues, and lead to a weakened pelvic floor. Pelvic floor dysfunction can lower your libido both because of how uncomfortable it makes intercourse, and its ability to impact your self esteem.

    How to Treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

    Electromagnetic Pelvic Floor Therapy is a non-invasive treatment created to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, improve bladder control, and increase sensation during sex. During treatment, patients sit on a chair that emits high-intensity electromagnetic waves to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles for about 30 minutes. The treatment is painless and requires no downtime. Patients typically see results after 6 sessions spaced every 2 weeks. Results last up to 6 months, so most patients opt to also partake in maintenance treatments.

    The Symptom: Low Libido

    Symptoms like vaginal dryness and painful intercourse can lead to a reduced desire to have sex. But even without those symptoms, decreases in estrogen and testosterone levels during and after menopause can impact your libido. The reduction of your key sex hormones, estrogen testosterone, and progesterone, are all connected to lowered libido both physically and mentally.

    How to Treat Low Libido

    Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for men and women experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance at any stage of their life. Hormone replacement therapy comes in many forms: pills, creams, and even pellets. Compounded testosterone is especially effective at treating low libido in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Available by prescription only, the daily cream is bioidentical to the testosterone your body produces on its own, is customized to your exact hormone levels, and can cause improved libido within as little as 2 - 3 weeks. Along with increased libido, compounded testosterone has been shown to improve patients’ energy and mood levels, as well as support metabolism and weight loss.

    To understand the wide range of options available for treating hormonal imbalances, consider working with a licensed clinician to measure your hormone levels. At Modern Age, we offer this program as part of our Aging Wellness Assessment, which includes a blood test of 55 biomarkers, a bone density scan, and a cognitive test. After your tests, you’ll work with our team to create a custom plan for balancing your hormones, and treating other aging related symptoms.