What is menopause?
Simply put, menopause begins when the ovaries gradually slow down the production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. This is effectively the beginning of the end of the menstrual cycle. Most women start menopause around 45 to 50 years of age, and goes on for several years. When menstruation stops, it does not mean that menopause is actually over.
Many women are disturbed by the changes taking place in the body which include hot flushes, unusual weight gain, depression and anxiety. Menopause happens in the life of every woman, and many anticipate its arrival with dread and anxiety.
Menopause is not an illness, although some unexplained bouts of moodiness and anxiety may give some women the idea that they might be ill. However, with modern medicine like hormonal treatment, and several natural cures available, much of the mystery and fear has been taken out of menopause.
How menopause can affect the sex life of both partners
Both men and women can enjoy a healthy sex life well into their 60’s and 70’s, but sexual desire may be affected by hormonal imbalances, or a possible underlying medical condition. The idea that sex is over with the onset of menopause, is a completely erroneous idea. Couples with a good, loving relationship, and many happy sexual encounters behind them, can together overcome hurdles which may arise in their sex life during menopause. A visit to the doctor could be necessary to sort any hormonal hassles, and investigate whether or not there is a possible medical condition.
Menopause need not be all doom and gloom, with a list of complaints about the physical and mental changes that may occur, including a lack of sexual desire. It all depends on your attitude and how you handle what is inevitable in every woman’s life. There are many ways that a woman can help to ease symptoms, just by making some changes to the diet, and getting some regular exercise.
For women who are not keen on hormone replacement therapy, which does have some undesirable side effects, there are several natural supplements available that may help to reduce hot flushes and mood swings.
How menopausal symptoms affects your sex life
- Reduced estrogen levels lead to painful sex, caused by vaginal dryness, as well as thinning and tightening of the uterus. Estrogen is also an important sex hormone, necessary for arousal, sexual desire and successful orgasm.
- This is another hormone produced by the ovaries. During menopause, the changing levels of this hormone, lead to some unpleasant menopausal symptoms. These include headaches, mood changes like depression or anxiety, and especially low libido.
- There are other hormonal disturbances, such as that of the thyroid, which also leads to depression, lower estrogen production, and often to chronic fatigue problems.
All of these issues are problems which can be successfully addressed, and are definitely not the death-knell to your sex life. Research by the North American Menopause Society revealed that 84% of menopausal women interviewed, reported that maintaining an active sex life was still very important to both partners.
However, many women get frustrated when it takes long to get aroused, and even longer to achieve orgasm – if at all. This often causes some women to stop responding to any interest they have in sexual encounters.
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