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Sophie Wessex: Nobody talks about periods or menopause

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Menopause is a natural part of getting older, mostly occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, oestrogen levels start to decline affecting your body – this can also include your libido.

Lower libido could be a sign of menopause as oestrogen levels, also known as sex hormones, decline.

The decrease in oestrogen levels can dampen arousal, acomplia in us leading to less vaginal lubrication.

This can lead to vaginal dryness, making sex uncomfortable.

Lower oestrogen levels can also thin the vaginal wall, causing vaginal atrophy.

READ MORE: Pancreatic cancer: The ‘difficult’ warning sign immediately after having a poo 

Vaginal atrophy not only describes thinning of the walls but also drying and inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

All of these changes can lead to discomfort during sex.

This problem can affect both menopausal and postmenopausal women.

Here are some things you can try to make sex more comfortable and get your libido back.

Try to use lubricant

If you feel discomfort or pain during sex, a lubricant may be the answer.

Lubricant can help with vaginal dryness, consequently making sex more comfortable.

You can use this when you are about to have sex to alleviate the pain, according to Mayo Clinic.

If a lubricant doesn’t sound like the right option for you, there are also other remedies available ranging from vaginal moisturisers and oestrogen creams.

Try Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises aim to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

These exercises can help improve blood circulation in your vagina, which can help improve your libido.

Kegel exercises can even help to increase your ability to reach orgasm.

To do them, contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold the contraction for about five seconds. Then slowly release.

When to see your GP

The NHS advises talking to your GP if your menopausal symptoms are troubling you.

If you’re experiencing sex problems, the NHS also lists a psychosexual therapist or sexual health services as options.

Some examples on the NHS website are:

  • Relate – an online relationship support service with telephone and online counselling 
  • Sexual Advice Association – a sexual health charity with online factsheets about sex problems.

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