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Studies are ongoing, but results may not be available for several years. An orgasm is the same regardless of where the stimulation that triggers it comes from.

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In general, the clitoris is more sensitive to stimulation than the vagina and is more reliably able to trigger orgasm when stimulated. However, in some women stimulation of the vagina may be more likely to trigger orgasm or may lead to stimulation of the clitoris. Older age is not a protection against sexually transmitted infections STIs.

Gonorrhea is another STI that is easily treated with antibiotics but may go undetected. Human papillomavirus HPV , which can cause cervical cancer, is also very common, but by age 50 many women have already been infected with HPV. Pap tests are still the recommended screening option for cervical cancer. Ideally, you should ask your partner to be tested for STIs before you have sex. Condoms can protect against most, but not all, STIs. Mine has not. What can I do?

Sex and relationships after the menopause

As in women, desire in men is affected by both psychological and physical factors. Psychological factors could include life stressors. Is he having difficulties with his job? Is he concerned about finances?

Menopause and You

Psychological factors also include the quality of your relationship outside the bedroom. Are you experiencing conflicts in your marriage? Might he be holding some resentments? Many men may suffer low desire if they develop erection problems and feel anxious about or ashamed of their inability to get a good erection. Problems with erections are common as men age, particularly in those who smoke or have conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. In addition, many men suffer from a significant drop in testosterone as they age.

This drop in testosterone, known as hypogonadism, often results in a loss of sex drive and depressed mood and fatigue but is often overlooked by healthcare providers. I am a year-old divorced mother of three grown children who has recently fallen in love with a woman.

How common or uncommon is this? Although many lesbians come out in their teens or 20s, many others do so only in their 40s or later. They may have written off strong feelings for other women in the past as just close friendships. However, many more women report that they were not at all aware of their sexual attraction to other women until later in life.

Some may have enjoyed good relationships and sex with men and then find themselves attracted to women or in love with a female friend. Menopause begins when the menstrual cycle has stopped for at least a year. While every woman's experience is different, an estimated percent of menopausal women say sex can be painful. Luckily, there are options to help treat the most common complications. In this article, we look at menopause effects and some helpful treatments.

During perimenopause, the hormones that bring about fertility and pregnancy decrease, including the hormone estrogen. This produces changes in the blood vessels and tissues of the vagina and vulva, making the organs more vulnerable to damage. Most sexual complications of menopause stem from vulvovaginal atrophy, a condition marked by a loss of elasticity, moisture, and thickness of the vulva and vaginal tissues. During perimenopause, tissues of the vagina and vulva receive less estrogen. As a result, these tend to thin, lose their folds, and dry out. Thinner tissues are more easily broken, bruised, and irritated.

The tissues also receive less lubrication, which intensifies the friction they are exposed to during intercourse, so increasing the risk of damage. Some women also experience atrophic vaginitis , which causes inflammation of the vaginal tissues. Again, atrophic vaginitis stems from reduced estrogen levels and can cause pain, swelling, itching and burning. Not all women see the same physical changes during menopause, and the severity of symptoms can vary. Women should see their doctor if symptoms begin to interfere with daily life or reduce the quality of life.

The physical symptoms of menopause can cause emotional side effects as well.

Changing hormone levels can interfere with sleep and mood, causing tiredness , anxiety , irritability, and depression. What menopause represents can also cause emotional problems. These side effects can be just as debilitating as physical effects, especially when it comes to sex. During times of stress or sadness, people often lose interest in activities that would otherwise bring them pleasure.

In this respect, pain and discomfort can make it difficult to enjoy sex.

Many of the physical changes that occur with aging can also intensify the emotional symptoms of menopause. If sexual arousal or sensitivity is also affected, some women will shy away from sexual activity altogether, which can worsen symptoms. One survey found that 70 percent of menopausal women who experienced pain during sex said the problem also caused tensions with their partner.

Not all women experience negative emotional symptoms linked to menopause. Some women gain additional wisdom, confidence, and ability to speak for themselves. Those who do experience negative symptoms should talk to a doctor if they interfere with healthy sexual activity or everyday life.

Staying sexually active is one of the easiest ways to lessen the sexual complications of menopause.

Sex & Menopause: Side Effects & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

The physical and emotional side effects of menopause cause many women to reduce or refrain from sexual activity. However, the vagina needs consistent use to remain healthy, especially after menopause. Regular sexual stimulation helps promote blood flow to the vagina.

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It also helps maintain the vagina's elasticity, depth, and overall shape. Behavioral changes and over-the-counter products are often the first recommended treatments. In worse cases, a doctor may prescribe hormone therapies to help reduce vaginal dryness or hormonal creams to apply to the tissues. Around 55 percent of women do not seek medical treatment for menopause symptoms, although most side effects lessen over time and eventually go away.

For some women, however, menopause symptoms are intense and persistent, so medical treatment is advised. Doctors may prescribe medications or creams that are composed of estrogen, progesterone , or both. Individual treatment plans depend on a variety of factors, including additional health complications. Women who no longer have a uterus will not require extra progesterone, for example. Though many herbs and spices are praised as cure-alls for menopause symptoms, little research has affirmed their benefits. Some menopause supplements have even proven harmful with continual use.