Sexual arousal after menopause is a topic rife with misconceptions. The most common assumption concerning sexual arousal after menopause is that sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual arousal inevitably decrease at menopause.
This may be true for some women, but it is certainly not true for all women. Sexuality at menopause has a lot to do first and foremost with what we believe about our own sexuality up to the point of going through menopause.
Can you remember what it felt like to fall in love for the first time? Do you remember how you had an almost overwhelming energy filling you with exhilaration, benevolence, vigour and an insatiable sexual desire.
Well, the ability to feel all these feelings did not disappear just because you are in menopause or you are post menopause.
In other words, your life force, your vital energy source, has not disappeared and the health and vitality of your sexuality is inexorably linked to your connection with this energy source and the health and vitality in your life.
The reality is that as we get older and go through the natural changes of aging, which include going through menopause, sexual arousal after menopause also changes.
For some women sexual arousal after menopause means that their sexual desire diminishes, and for other women sexual arousal after menopause means their sexual desire increases.
And there are many factors in a woman’s life at the time of menopause that contribute to this but we cannot just blame menopause on its own.
Sexual Changes And Menopause
The hormone changes associated with menopause do have some effect on a woman’s physical response and sexual arousal, libido. During peri menopause a woman’s libido may seem to go underground for awhile.
But this diminished sex drive does not need to be the permanent experience after menopause, because it can and will re-emerge, and it can even re-emerge in an experience of heightened sexual desire and activity after menopause.
During peri menopause you may experience some or most of the following changes in sexual arousal:
- Sexual arousal after menopause can result in – Increased sexual desire
- Sexual arousal after menopause can result in – Decreased sexual desire
- Vaginal dryness and loss of vaginal elasticity-less lubrication
- Pain or burning with intercourse
- Increased clitoral sensitivity
- Decreased clitoral sensitivity
- Stronger orgasms and sexual awakening
- Fewer orgasms and decreased depth of orgasm
- Slower sexual arousal
In post menopause you may experience some of the following changes in sexual arousal:
- Vaginal wetness and lubrication in sexual arousal can take 1 to 3 minutes, compared to 10 to 30 seconds for younger women
- The clitoris, however, can become stimulated and erect in women even in our 70’s
- The vaginal walls do thin and decrease in length, width and their ability to expand during sexual arousal and climax
- The uterus becomes smaller as a result of less estrogen during menopause
- The uterus does not enlarge as much during sexual arousal during orgasm
For some women sexual arousal after menopause can mean that if there are sexual disorders or dysfunctions present, they may become more evident during menopause. These can include:
- Low sexual desire or lack of sex drive
- Sexual arousal disorder-this is where your desire for sex might be intact, but you are unable to become aroused or maintain arousal during sexual activity
- Orgasmic disorder-this is where you have persistent difficulty in achieving orgasm after sufficient sexual arousal and stimulation
- Sexual pain disorder-this is where you have pain with sexual stimulation and intercourse
These symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be caused by:
- Physical problems such as cystitis or vaginitis
- Health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease
- Taking medications such as anti-depressants or tranquilizers
- The use of alcohol, drugs or cigarette smoking
Sexual Arousal After Menopause
If you believe that menopause marks the end of your sexual life then that is exactly what will happen for you. However, if you believe that menopause is the beginning of the vital second half of your life then you will stay strong and attractive and sexual through menopause.
Even though it may take a longer time for your sexual responsiveness and arousal, you can have normal and even deeper orgasms, especially if you stay sexually active.
Women five to ten years after menopause who do not have sex and do not masturbate eventually have trouble with being adequately lubricated if they have intercourse.
Do whatever it takes to stay sexually aroused: read love stories, watch love affairs on TV or movies, fantasize about sex. Have some erotic stimulation in your life to keep your sexual arousal alive and well.