4 Simple Ways to Keep Your Sex Life Hot if You’re Going Through Perimenopause
Reviewed by Dr. Lisa Czanko MD, MPH
Perhaps you’ve heard of menopause. You know the classic trope portrayed in Hollywood films, like Something’s Gotta Give or Father of the Bride 2 where women comically deal with hot flashes that appear out of nowhere or sleepless nights that give way to coffee fueled mornings.
But what about perimenopause? What even is it?
Perimenopause is defined as the transition time leading up to menopause, while menopause is defined as the time a person completely stops ovulating. On average, perimenopause lasts about four years, but it can vary greatly from person to person, most commonly lasting in the two to eight year range. The typical age for menopause can be anywhere from forty-five to fifty-five.
You likely haven’t seen perimenopause on the big screen, but it’s still an important life phase that roughly half the population will go through at some point in their lives.
Hormonal changes in perimenopause comes with all kinds of (potentially frustrating!) symptoms, like vaginal dryness or changes in sexual response that can last anywhere from two to fourteen years.
Let’s Talk About…Sex
A person might find that their sex drive during perimenopause (or libido) is decreasing. This may look like being less interested in sex with a partner or feel like a lack of sexual response with genital stimulation.
Others may find that penetrative sex might be less comfortable or even painful during perimenopause.
In this article, we’ll cover healthy ways to work with your body and create lifestyle modifications to ease symptoms of perimenopause and help sex become more comfortable and pleasurable during the perimenopausal years.
How to increase your sex drive during perimenopause
1. Get Those Steps In
One of the best ways to boost your sex drive during perimenopause is getting in some exercise. Because hormonal changes in perimenopause can lead to unbalanced moods, the Office on Women’s Health recommends exercise for lifting your mood and energy levels, which can contribute to making you feel better about your body and give you more energy for sex.
Exercise has also been proven to reduce the risk of obesity, which may in turn help limit hot flashes and sleep disturbances during perimenopause.
Additionally, maintaining a varied exercise routine will help with bone strength, endurance, and flexibility.
2. Keep the Romance Alive
People have a tendency to rush into things, whether it's a relationship, a diet, or the latest hair trend (looking at you mullets). But one thing that shouldn’t be rushed into during perimenopause is sex.
The hormonal changes in perimenopause mean that your hormone levels are lower and the ovaries are producing less estrogen, which means that it may take a bit longer for the vagina to become lubricated during sex. Vaginal dryness can make penetrative sex feel uncomfortable or painful.
Research has suggested that building up to sex can be a great way to keep things comfortable. The moisture that comes from arousal helps protect the tissues in the vagina. Another option is using water based lubricants, vaginal moisturizers, or prescription medications that can help protect vaginal tissue during sex.
Having sex often can also help increase bloodflow and keep the tissue healthy. So don’t be shy about lighting those candles and turning up Frank Sinatra to get that romance going!
3. Avoid the Nightcap
Although it may seem like a good idea to “loosen up” before sex, alcohol actually has a huge impact on sexual health.
Having a glass of wine before intercourse or a martini (shaken not stirred, of course) can impact how your body is stimulated.
Alcohol slows down the body’s response to stimuli and can create a lag in arousal. So instead of having a drink before engaging in sexual activity, try a mocktail instead or a noncaffeinated cup of tea.
4. Consider Using Hormonal Birth Control
Pregnancy is still possible during perimenopause. Birth control can help prevent an unplanned pregnancy as well as potentially help with the symptoms and hormonal changes in perimenopause.
A boost in hormones may decrease symptoms of perimenopause by providing estrogen and progesterone. And as an added bonus it may help strengthen your sex drive during perimenopause too. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
Although we know Hollywood doesn’t always represent perimenopause, it’s a totally normal part of life. We’re excited to continue to share more about this topic in our blogs.
Enjoy birth control prescribed online and delivered for free.
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