You don’t have to pause

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Express News Service

‘I thought reaching menopause would be sexually liberating. I would explore new chapters of intimacy with my partner. But my body has betrayed me.’ This is what I commonly hear from women when they see me to understand what has suddenly changed. The simple answer is a loss of estrogen and testosterone. This leads to several changes in the body, especially sex drive.

There are emotional changes too, that could lead to feeling low and unattractive. For some, sex becomes painful, while others aren’t able to reach an orgasm. The blood supply to the vulva and vagina decreases, causing thinning of the vaginal lining. This lessens lubrication.

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You could be prone to urinary tract infections so take care. You could also experience sleep disturbances, irritability, difficulty concentrating, or anxiety. But you can take things in your stride instead of getting lost in a sea of emotions. Menopause doesn’t mean you cannot have great sex. Here’s what you should work on:

Trust your vagina: It is capable of a lot. Experiment with your body and see what else brings you pleasure besides intercourse.

Be physically active: This boosts energy levels, regulates the mood, and improves body image.
Smoke less: Nicotine reduces blood supply to the vagina.

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Think about sex: It is known to get one aroused and ready for intercourse.

Have sex: Even if it doesn’t feel great, continue to have it to increase the blood flow to the vaginal tissues that will then generate natural lubrication.

Exercise: Pelvic floor workouts  are a must.

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Lubricate it right: Use a water-based lubricant for mild vaginal dryness. If it doesn’t help, 
talk to a doctor.

Stop comparing: This is damaging for you and your partner. Embrace your body the way it is. The author is a consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist, laparoscopic surgeon and an infertility specialist at Aakash Hospital, Malviya Nagar., Delhi
 

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