As a woman reaches middle age, her body begins to change. The production of two hormones known as estrogen and progesterone begins to slow down, which results in a number of symptoms. This change of life is called menopause and something every woman will experience, whether naturally or surgically (through a hysterectomy). Prior to a woman reaching this stage of her life, her body develops and prepares for intimacy and giving birth. A young woman will have thick vaginal walls to accommodate both intercourse and birth and then a consistent cycle of hormones that help by lubricating the vaginal walls, making intimacy far more enjoyable, and producing eggs for pregnancy.
As the woman ages, she may or may not see a decline in the frequency of intercourse. For some women, they actually enjoy more sex whereby other women prefer not to have it so often. Neither choice is right or wrong, merely a personal preference. Before a woman heads into menopause, there is no change emotionally or physically. However, as perimenopause begins, she will begin to experience unwanted symptoms that can change the way she thinks, feels, and acts. Regarding sex after menopause, this too is something that will vary from one woman to the next. Depending on the individual, it may be that the vaginal dryness has made intercourse very uncomfortable. Because of this, the spontaneous desire for sex is reduced or sometimes, eliminated.
Another aspect that can change a woman’s view on sex after menopause has to do with the symptoms of having hot flashes and night sweat. With hot flashes, the woman feels very hot and flushed, generally on her face, head, neck, and upper torso. These sensations can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. Often coupled with hot flashes are night sweats, which are just what they sound like, excessive sweating at night. This symptom makes a woman feel very miserable, changing from hot to cold. Obviously, hot flashes and night sweats do little for the romance department associated with sex after menopause.
There is another common problem associated with sex after menopause, which is insomnia or difficulty with sleep. For women in the change, they will often have trouble getting to sleep or after falling asleep, or may wake up several times during the night with difficulty getting back to sleep. The result is that the woman is exhausted, constantly feeling drained and tired. With this, the woman obviously loses interest in sex after menopause simply because she has no energy to perform. Instead, the woman will feel irritated and frustrated when her partner wants to get cozy.
Menopause produces many changes in a woman. For example, the shape and firmness of her once perky breasts may leave her feeling highly self conscious, not wanting to be nude in front of anyone but herself. Even the emotional changes that go along with menopause can be enough to squelch any interest in sex. The reason is that women often feel depressed and irritated, with moods swinging wide. First, if you are a woman starting into menopause and have concern about sex, then be encouraged knowing that today there are a number of excellent treatments and medications to help. Second, remind yourself that your mother and her mother and her mother all went through this too. They survived and so will you, especially with so many great options that were not available years ago.
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