Is there Sex after Menopause?
Many women come into recovery from alcoholism or addiction having passed through menopause or in the middle of it. As this article discusses menopause can be a traumatic experience for any women; and even more so for women undergoing profound changes to their social life through recovery.
New treatments offer ways to treat symptoms and improve sexual function
Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of women like the thought of menopause. The shifting hormone levels that are associated with “the change” can lead to everything from mood swings, insomnia and weight gain to decreased sex drive. However, despite the common dread most women have for this time, the truth is that menopause does not have to be the end of the world … or the end of a woman’s sexuality. As long as women are educated about the changes occurring in their bodies, they can easily treat the symptoms of menopause and continue enjoying their lives to the fullest.
Menopausal symptoms first begin as estrogen levels decrease in a woman’s body. As a result of this decline, a range of physical and emotional symptoms can occur, including sleeplessness, moodiness/mood swings, low desire, mild (or sometimes major) depression, vaginal dryness and difficulty with sexual response. Lower estrogen levels also cause hot flashes, which are extremely upsetting and uncomfortable and often interrupt sleep. Lower estrogen levels also contribute to a weakening of the pelvic floor, so women often experience incontinence (when they cough and sneeze) as well as lowered sexual response.
In addition to these physical woes, many women find that menopause is also a time in their life when they encounter many changes in their environment. For instance, some women might find themselves facing an empty nest as the kids go off to college, while other women become part of the “sandwich generation” (in which they care for young kids and aging/ill parents simultaneously). Furthermore, menopause can also encourage women to take stock of their lives … and for some women, they might find that they haven’t accomplished everything for which they once hoped. It is a difficult time, particularly since there are very few positive role models of older women in the media or in society.
Not only are there few positive role models, there are also few sexual images of women after they reach a certain age. In our ageist society, it seems that sexuality excludes older women. Indeed, some women view menopause as the end of their sexuality. Not so! It is merely the end of fertility …