5 ways to improve your sex life during menopause and beyond
The journey through our 40s, 50s, and beyond can feel challenging at times. Transitions like menopause can influence the way that we think and feel about our body. However, it’s essential to remember that desire doesn’t have an expiration date. It’s never too late to spice things up and there are a number of ways you can improve your sex life through menopause and beyond.
Exploring new sexual activities with your partner, or by yourself, can feel liberating – but also a little nerve-wracking. Enhancing sensation during sex lies in understanding our body, preferences, and desires. Building a foundation of strong communication between you and your significant other is key so that you can both share what you enjoy.
Here, we share some expert-backed tips to elevate your experience in the bedroom.
5 ways to enhance your sex life during menopause
Slow everything down
The slower we go, the more present we become. Rushing intimate encounters not only takes away from the build-up that many women need to find sex enjoyable, but can also lead to discomfort for those who experience vaginal dryness or vaginismus.
“Often, there’s a misconception that sex needs to be harder or faster to feel more intense when actually it’s the opposite,” says relationship therapist and sexologist Madalaine Munro. “Our bodies can only feel the amount of pleasure or sensation that it feels safe with, and by going slower, our bodies can acclimatise to the sensation, regulate and feel more pleasure.”
Utilise your breath
If you’ve ever experimented with breathwork, you’ll know how powerful the breath can be in altering your physical and mental wellbeing. Bringing deep breathing to the bedroom can help to focus the mind and direct your thoughts, while also increasing blood flow.
One study from the Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine found that deep breathing exercises made blood flow in the body more efficient. As blood flow is an important component of arousal, it stands to reason that using this technique can help to enhance sensations during sex.
Try to focus on your inhales and exhales, particularly during foreplay, to see what works for you.
Explore textures and sensations
“There are many types of toys or add-ons that can enhance sensation on a practical level,” says Madalaine.
“For example, blindfolds will create an interoceptive experience where your body may be more sensitive to touch and therefore increase pleasurable sensations. Toys such as feathers, or materials such as silk and lace, may also enhance your sensual experience.”
HRT could help to improve your sex life during menopause by aiding with symptoms such as vaginal dryness and low libido. Reduced oestrogen can lead to vaginal dryness, the thinning of vaginal tissues, and a decrease in blood flow to the genital area. HRT can help to restore oestrogen levels, boosting sensation, and enhancing tissue elasticity.
In one study from the Journal of Women’s Health Gendered-Based Medicine, HRT enhanced sexual desire in a significant percentage of women, although it took some up to six months to notice a difference.
“Lube can be a huge asset for those experiencing hormonal changes,” says Madalaine. “Many women find that they experience different fluctuations in sex drive and arousal during the menopause. This means that you may feel less sensation in the body and find sex uncomfortable.”
There are several different types of lube on the market, but opting for ones free from ingredients like parabens, glycerin and other chemical nasties that might upset your vaginal microbiome, can help you avoid yeast infections.
Try Into the Wylde, by Forage Botanicals, a luxurious, certified vegan and organic botanical lubricant. Made from five dynamic botanicals, it has an intimately balanced pH, is 100% plant-based, and has a ‘body-identical’ feel. Use LIZLOVES for 15% off your order until the end of October 2023.
Alternatively, there’s Yes, a water-based personal lubricant that feels natural, intensely hydrating, and gentle. It’s certified organic with a pH to match the vagina.