Perimenopause is a time when lots of things are changing, and one of those things can include our sex lives.

Libidos can dip and sex can start to become painful.

In our youth we have good levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone supplying the vajays with the moisture they need, good blood flow, heightened nerves and elasticity.

In perimenopause, as hormones start to dive all over the show we can see the opposite happening: less moisture, reduced blood flow, reduced nerves (so it takes us longer to orgasm) and reduced elasticity = sore, ouchy sex. 

Perimenopause doesn't mean the end of good sex, you might just need to think differently about it. 

It can be helpful to remember that perimenopause is the hard bit where hormones are wild and fluctuating like a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride. Once you reach menopause, your hormones will calm down and you'll have less yucky symptoms to deal with.

In our youth we think about sex a lot and in peri it can get forgotten about.  With our bodies changing sometimes we don’t feel like we have our sexy on and if you are dealing with rubbish sleep and feeling exhausted, no one feels like going there.

Doing everything you can to improve your sleep will help your energy levels and improve your relationship.

If you need some pointers around getting better sleep in perimenopause:

Perimenopause and Sex: Vaginal Symptoms 

In the medical field vaginal, bladder and pelvic floor symptoms are grouped together and called Genitourinary, Syndrome of Menopause (GSM).

Genitourinary, Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) symptoms include:

  • Vaginal dryness and loss of lubrication
  • Burning, pain, dryness, irritation, itching or fissuring in the vulva
  • Pain or bleeding with sex
  • Painful urination
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Bladder urgency and stress incontinence (peeing when you cough)
  • Loss of libido, arousal, or orgasm
  • Vaginal wall prolapse.

Get your Peri Sexy On - Tool Kit

If you're keen to improve your sex life, then take some time to think about what are your favourite parts of sex and what turns you on? Maybe traditional sex might be uncomfortable but it doesn’t just need to be straight thrusting penetration. It can be lots of foreplay and gentle penetration.

Tracey Cox, Sex and Relationship author, advises:

“Grinding penetration in a circle motion can be less painful”. 

Talk to your partner about what's happening for you - if he is the same age he might be dealing with stuff too (like, erectile dysfunction). You and your partner might have fun finding ways to get you in the mood. 

Talk to your doctor about treatment options. Don’t put up with sore sex or a dry vagina as it will only make symptoms worse. If vaginal symptoms are due to hormone changes they might suggest vaginal estrogen which is the number one treatment for GSM symptoms. Two treatments available are Vagifem and Ovestin.

These are natural bioidentical estrogens which will help dryness, low libido, recurrent bladder infections and prolapses. One of the side effects (not common) is Thrush.

Have you thought about a vibrator? Perpetration might be too sore but you can have fun pleasuring yourself and it is a great tool to get you in the mood for sex. Info here.

Gentle, soft porn on the TV…whatever floats your boat: a bit of Bridgerton or Outlander..?!

Read a sexy book - 50 Shades of Grey.

Vaginal moisturiser which lasts up to 24 hours. If you feel embarrassed to grab some in-person, buy it online here

Lubricants for sexual intercourse.  Make sure they don’t contain alcohols or preservatives that will irritate you.

Let's Break it Down:

Talk to your health professional about treatments for symptoms that are causing sex to be painful.

Don’t put up with symptoms: the longer you leave it, the worse it's gonna get.

You might not be able to be as spontaneous as you once were, enjoy getting in the mood with some of the ideas above.

Lots of women are going through the same thing so please know you're not alone (join a community of peri women who totally get it). 

Sometimes understanding what’s going on makes it easier to deal with.

You're still a sexy sass-bomb, but just need to approach the sexy times a bit differently. 

Bridgerton not your cup of tea? Share your favies in the comments below.

*Tracey Cox is a sex and relationship writer with decades of experience who has has popped out the other side of peri. She’s author of must-read book “How to Have Great Sex After 50”.  Check her out here

May 24, 2022 — Angela Greely

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