Life After Menopause?

Menopause may be the final phase in a woman's reproductive cycle, but it's the beginning of a whole new chapter in her life. A giant myth surrounding this life stage is that menopause means the end of sex. The reality is that your sex life postmenopause will be much like your sex life premenopause: It's entirely what you make of it.


Naturally, there are some challenges to overcome and changes to get used to. The first step is to educate yourself about what to expect as you approach and pass through this phase. Physically, tissue changes may decrease genital sensation and lubrication, and your hormones can cause dramatic fluctuations in temperature (hot flashes). Emotionally, you may notice mood and energy changes that may negatively affect your libido.

Menopause can cause some women to feel as if they're suddenly in someone else's body — declining estrogen levels may cause your body to store excess weight in new places (you may find yourself gaining fat around the abdomen or even on the back rather than around the hips, thighs, and butt, as younger women commonly do), and lower testosterone levels can reduce your muscle mass and tone. Keeping fit with a regular exercise routine and healthier eating habits can do a lot to minimize the physical effects of declining hormones — but it's only half the battle. The other half is conquering your mind. You need to believe you are still sexually desirable on the inside and out. And you are!

You should treat this time as a gateway to new possibilities, sexually and otherwise. Maybe menopausal symptoms will inspire you to focus on your health. Or perhaps your newfound freedom from worries over pregnancy and menstruation will spark a new flame in your sex life. Postmenopausal women do still enjoy sex — sometimes even more than before! The truth is, sexual desire declines naturally for both men and women as we age. But it doesn't disappear, and your chances of achieving sexual satisfaction when you do want sex can remain completely unchanged.

Menopause is a time of profound physical and emotional changes, and with every change comes the opportunity for renewal. Appreciate the possibilities for growing into a new you. Adapting to life's changes is challenging, but the sooner you accept this next phase of the journey, the sooner you can start to enjoy it!


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