Sexual desire is the interest in sex and in being sexual. During the lead up to menopause, known as perimenopause, the female body goes through some tremendous hormonal changes.
This phase can be relatively quick, but, for the majority of women, it means a long battle with longer menstrual cycles that are irregular, hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, etc. Lower levels of estrogen can cause a decrease in blood supply to your vagina. This decreases natural vaginal lubrication, leading to a thinning and drying of the vagina walls that may subsequently shrink, leading to painful sexual intercourse.
In lifestyle circles, there are certainly a good number of female swingers that are in or close to this tricky stage in life. After all, this change can start early in life, for some even as early as anywhere in their 30s, due to medical conditions or hereditary traits, to all the way into their late 50s.
What Happens When Estrogen Levels Drop?
The loss of estrogen and declining levels of progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone that follow menopause like white on rice can lead to many changes, which no one loves:
– sexual arousal becomes a challenge
– less sensitivity to touching and stroking
– a decreased interest in sex and loss of libido
Apart from lowering estrogen levels, adrenal, thyroid, and growth hormones can contribute to sexual dysfunction as well.
Does This Happen to All Women?
Well, menopause is inescapable; it’s a fact of nature. Whether early or late, one thing is sure — it’s going to find you. However — and this is hopeful news — the loss of libido or diminished sexual interest may actually not be a factor everyone. Looking around at all the highly sexually-active women that visit lifestyle clubs and events around the world, it turns out that, on the contrary, women also report the total opposite and experience a huge upswing in desire and a notable increase in sexual satisfaction!
This could be due to a drop in estrogen, which causes an increase in the relative levels of testosterone. This can leave you hornier than ever before. Here’s hoping!
What Can You Do About Those Pesky Symptoms?
There are a bunch of options for you to help keep symptoms at bay. There are lubricants that help with vaginal dryness, and estrogen therapy can improve your vaginal tissue. Hormone replacement therapy may be an option if you have severe symptoms, but it comes with certain risks as any medicinal can.
How Can You Increase Intimacy?
If your sex drive is taking a beating, there are ways to make sure your physical intimacy doesn’t suffer. The female brain is one of the most powerful erogenous zones. And what is good for your brain also works wonders for your genitals. So, it’s important to adopt those lifestyle factors that promote a healthy brain, those that increase blood flow while eliminating those known for decreasing blood flow and rob your brain of vital nutrients.
YES to: hydration, good fats (omega 3 fatty acids and cholesterol), exercise, vitamins (the brain’s “pleasure-center” needs iron and vitamin B6, in particular, to create Dopamine), and plenty of sleep.
Some swear by Ginkgo Biloba and Asian Ginseng to improve blood flow and sexual function.
NO to: nicotine and too much alcohol.
Enjoy each other by immersing yourself in erotic environments like travel events and clubs, experiment with sexual positions that allow you to control the depth of penetration, take warm baths together for relaxation, use vaginal lubricants, tantric sessions, sensual massage classes, etc. After all, not having sex will definitely not make things any better.
Cheers (…or not)!
The Travelling Goddess