Menopause and Sex: What Every Woman Must Know
As we enter mid-life, changes abound . But for women, it's not only hot flashes and mood swings that can dominate. Indeed many gals discover that the most disconcerting change of all can be the change in they experience in their sex drive.
In short - it can all but disappear.
For some, replenishing those dwindling hormones -with Mother Nature or Father Pharmaceutical - can be a big help.
But what if hormones aren't on your agenda? Not to worry - there are still things you can do!
Indeed, oftentimes small changes in areas of your life you might not even connect with sex - like nutrition, exercise, or even sleep - can make a huge difference in your ability to not only enjoy sex, but actually look forward to intimate encounters.
Here are five things from my book " Your Perfectly Pampered Menopause" that you can try right now to get your libido off and running!
# 1: Take a Nap
Although this probably doesn't sound either sexy or romantic, experts say that fatigue is the number one killer of great romance, not to mention terrific sex. Because night sweats and hot flashes may be keeping you awake at night, don't be ashamed to steal away for a cozy nap any time you get the chance. If you arrange for a rendezvous' with your partner upon waking, you may be surprised to discover how attuned you have become to what may have been "hidden" sexual desires.
# 2 : Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to whatever " aphrodisiac" foods you may have heard of, at mid-life doctors say one of the best sex boosters is a healthy diet. Studies show that when the basic requirements for good nutrition are met, hormones function better. And that means you are less likely to feel the "bumps" in your perimenopause road as easily or as often. Also try eating six small meals a day rather than three large ones. This can help keep blood sugar stable which not only increases your energy level, but also can improve your mood and your desires.
# 3 : Quit smoking
You know it's bad for your heart and lungs - but did you know smoking can also put a damper on your sex life? In studies conducted on perimenopausal and menopausal women, doctors found that smoking as little as one pack a day had a greater ability to decrease sexual function than the hormonal changes of menopause! Smoking is also linked to a decrease in estrogen, which can impact sexual response and vaginal sensitivity. The good news: Just months after you stub that last butt, you'll see an appreciable change in your health - including a upswing in your desire for sex!
# 4: Take Time To Relax
Whether it's curling up with a great book, planting petunias in your garden, or taking a pottery class, take time to relax and watch the benefits flow in the bedroom! Indeed, studies show that stress can be the number one thief of sexual satisfaction, and, some experts say it can put a real damper on desire. The link involves an entire cascade of hormonal activity that is set in motion by your response to stress. Once it starts, it can impact a variety of physiological functions, not the least of which is mood - and desire. And, even if you have the desire to make love, being under stress can inhibit both your ability to become aroused and to reach orgasm. So, take a few deep breaths and learn to relax - and you might be surprised at how much better you feel about making love.
# 5: Buy New Shoes . . .
...or get a new hairdo, change your color, go for a make-over, get a facial, even lose a few pounds. Anything you can do to feel better about yourself IS going to make you feel better about relating to your partner, not just in the bedroom, but in ALL the rooms of your life! Certainly there are important physiological reasons why sex may not be on the top of your list during this time of your life. Sometimes, however, how we feel about ourselves, and even how we view the idea of aging itself, can greatly influence how we feel about having sex and even influence what we think about our own sexuality. Doing whatever you can to enhance your self image - in your own eyes- often translates into feeling better about your partner, your relationship, and ultimately your sexuality and your sensuality.
To learn more visit http://www.YourMenopause.com
Colette Bouchez is the author of "Your Perfectly Pampered Menopause; Health Beauty and Lifestyle Advice for the Best Years of Your Life' and director of http://www.YourMenopause.com