Let me clarify before I continue writing this article that my stance about sex is that it belongs and is a big part of a healthy marriage. The issue with sex and menopause, or even going through the premenopausal period brings lots of changes to the female body that can negatively impact our sex lives. I do cover all things health related and never to offend, but hopefully to motivate, inspire, educate, or get us thinking about our lives in a healthier way. I have joined the ranks of the 50+ woman and feel that it is important to speak out about subjects that we all want to talk about, but seem to hide behind closed doors feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or in denial. Whatever the case may be, please know that no woman will escape going through menopause, we all have this in common, and it is pretty awesome to think that there is a support system to lean on for answers.
I am just going to blurt it out, when it comes to sex and menopause, use it or lose it ladies. As our hormones plummet to nothing, ugly things start to happen to the vaginal and surrounding tissue of the urethra. Our once plumped up beautiful flower has started to wither away making pollination something of a challenge to say the least. What is happening is called vaginal atrophy and just as a muscle begins to decrease in size and shape when not exercised, the same thing happens to our vagina. Studies have shown that consistent sexual activity helps to promote lubrication of the vaginal walls and to maintain the shape and strength of the vaginal canal. So it is not only important to have regular sexual activity, but also climaxing to exercise those muscles and bring blood flow to the area.
Sex is a big part of a healthy marriage, and I applaud the husbands out there who are our biggest cheerleaders, and approach with patience and understanding their menopausal wives. The bedroom romp takes on a whole different meaning when it comes to our aging bodies. We will be the biggest investors of lubricants, gels, and creative play to maintain a healthy sex life. The important thing to remember is not to get frustrated, relax, go with the flow, and just have sex. Schedule a sex date with your spouse and focus on the feelings, sensations, and enjoyment of just being together. That is what it is all about anyway, giving of ourselves to each other, without inhibition, embarrassment or shame for what we are going through, but a greater sharing experience and acceptance of who we are as women. Place no expectations on the sexual experience and bask in the moment of play time with your spouse.
Sex and menopause are just another part of our journey in this life and we do have a choice of how we will handle the changes. It is important to be pro-active in taking care of our sexual bodies and applying whatever healthy measures that will enable us to feel good, sexy and confident in this area. Avoiding the subject will not only create a dysfunctional vagina, but also an unhealthy marriage, since sexual closeness is an important part of expressing our need and want for our spouse. Apply the “use it lose it” philosophy to your changing body and you will be on the right track to a healthier vagina through menopause.
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