Debunking Myths: ‘Use It or Lose It’ with Sex and the Menopause
We have seen quite a few social media posts that suggest that when it comes to sex & menopause, we need to “use it or lose it”.
Is this true?
Understanding the Biological Changes: Menopause and Sexual Health
Blood flow to the sexual organs drops after menopause, and this leads to loss of lubrication, less sensitive touch receptors, less stretchy tissues and less repair. Just like men, in our fertile years, we have nighttime clitoral erections to keep the tissues healthy – these can decrease as we age. We need fresh, oxygenated blood flow to these parts of us to keep everything working well. So perhaps it does seem logical to say – use it or lose it.
The Real Impact of Menopause on Sexual Intercourse
The thing is, though, in the clinic, we see women who have been told this is the case and are putting up with pleasureless or painful sex as a result.
They think doing so will help make things better – and this is rarely – if ever – true.
Breaking the Cycle of Painful Sex: Understanding Vaginismus and Seeking Help
Painful sex sets up cycles of anticipation of more painful sex. Arousal drops as anxiety rises, further impacting dryness and lack of blood flow. Climax gets harder, and libido falls. Pelvic floor muscles begin to tense as a protective mechanism – known as vaginismus – which makes penetration even more difficult and painful. And so the cycle continues.
Redefining Sexual Wellness in Menopause: From Pain to Pleasure
If sex is joyless, painful or leads to infections, then seeking help is vital.
In getting back to sex, start on your own. Remap what feels good now (and what doesn’t). Self-touch can feel safe, brings blood to where it’s needed and helps you gain confidence. Most importantly, it puts YOU and YOUR needs at the centre of the process.
Our Philosophy: Take Control and Seek Help for Sexual Health During Menopause
So.. our advice isn’t to “use it, or lose it”, but rather to “own it, and take action on it” if sexuality is important to you. If you need an expert on sex after any kind of menopause, do reach out to us.