Your V-Zone after Menopause
The menopausal transition involves a decline in the reproductive hormone estradiol. (The most commonly measured type of estrogen). Lower estrogen levels are often associated with the thinning of vaginal tissue, irritation, and reduced vaginal lubrication. This can make sexual activity uncomfortable or even painful at times.
Here are 3 things a woman can do to ease vaginal dryness during menopause:
- Eat more healthy fats. Healthy fats, especially those supplying omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help keep vaginal walls healthy. Fish like salmon and tuna are high in fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in egg yolks, flaxseeds and olive oil.
- Stay hydrated. To relieve vaginal dryness, the tissue needs to stay well hydrated. The best way to achieve this is by drinking plenty of water.
- Build emotional closeness with your partner. When a woman experiences emotional intimacy, she is more motivated to seek out sex and be responsive to sexual stimulation.
Emotional intimacy with our partner can decrease when we think about pain during sex after menopause. If you don’t feel close with your partner, you will not seek out and respond to sexual stimulation. This impacts our arousal and desire levels causing them to decrease while our discomfort with sex increases.
For women, especially menopausal women, sex doesn’t always correspond with desire. Some women may be satisfied with sex with no orgasm, or reach orgasm without desire. Reasons to have sex are varied and often complex. We need to understand that it is normal that we don’t always start with desire, especially after menopause.
For women experiencing vaginal dryness, building the intimacy in your relationship and the use of vaginal lubricants may help in alleviating this emotional and physical discomfort during sex. These over-the-counter lubricants may include K-Y® products.
Three different K-Y products, K-Y® JELLY, K-Y LIQUID® , K-Y® SENSUAL SILK®– all water-based, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, natural feel, and compatible with latex condoms. K-Y is the #1 most trusted by couples and professionals.
Women experiencing vaginal dryness should know that this is a common change that many of us experience during the menopausal years and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. As discussed earlier, there are many things a woman can do to continue enjoying intercourse and avoid discomfort. I recommend finding out what products or lifestyle changes work for you and to not be afraid to go after the sex and emotional closeness you deserve.
Clare E. Mézes, M.Sc., RP, RMFT, RST, RLT
Individual, Couple, Sex and Family Therapy
Registered Psychotherapist-College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
Registered Marriage and Family Therapist-Ontario and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Registered Sex Therapist-Board of Examiners in Sexual Therapy and Counselling in Ontario
Certified Relational Life Therapist-Relational Life Institute
Although this post has been generously sponsored by K-Y Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect opinions of the K-Y Canada brand or the Reckitt Benckiser Group of Companies.