I was recently interviewed for Giddy, a health focused website, about a topic that is dear to my heart: the sexual wellbeing of menopausal women. Here are a few of my choice quotes from the piece:
“After going through menopause, women may also experience difficulty orgasming. It’s one of those secret side effects of menopause they don’t tell you.”
“For a lot of menopausal women, libido tanks,” Six said. “They don’t feel like sexual beings anymore.”
“Some women say it feels like broken glass down there,” Six explained. “It’s worse for some than others.”
“Hormone therapy can help menopausal women feel more sensual, more alive, more feminine,” she said. “It increases libido and makes you feel like a sexual being.”
To help with penetrative sex, some experts recommend trying lubricants to replace the vagina’s natural moisture, relieving discomfort and helping to avoid vaginal tearing or bleeding. However, Six emphasized that this isn’t a complete solution.
“[Lubricant] doesn’t really address your libido, it just makes it possible for you to be penetrated,” she said.
If penetrative sex becomes painful, don’t force it. Six reminded us that there are plenty of alternatives.
“There’s oral sex, there are toys, there’s mutual masturbation, there’s self-masturbation in the presence of others. I always recommend these things whether the woman is menopausal or not,” she said.
If orgasm after menopause just isn’t happening, Six said orgasms aren’t necessarily the measure of good sex.
“An orgasm is a reflex, just like when the doctor taps your knee with a little hammer,” she said.
While acknowledging this might not be the answer women want to hear, Six insisted you can have satisfying, pleasurable sex without ever achieving orgasm.
“Sometimes it can be fun to just build tension and have sex several times where you don’t have an orgasm,” she said. “Sometimes sex is so good that an orgasm is secondary.”