Menopause can precipitate two physical changes that may cause problems with your significant other; a loss of libido and vaginal dryness. Many women experience a loss of libido during the menopause years. That is, a lessening of the desire for sex. Given that women usually experience a lower sex drive than men generally, this is a further blow to the intimacy of your relationship.
So the question is, what will you do about it? On the one hand, should you have sex to make him happy, even if you do not feel like it? Should he just back away and wait until the urge comes back to you for intimidation? What if it never actually comes back?
This is the basis of a raging debate due to a recent book release. The book, The Sex Diaries by sex researcher and psychologist Bettina Arndt was based on the diaries she had 98 couples prepare for her over a period of months, about their sex lives. While it was not focused entirely on menopause and sex, the results have caused a storm of debate and controversy.
Arndt says women can enjoy sex and become surely excited to orgasm even if they start without desire, so they should agree more often to 'take one for the team', as, once things get underway, desire will happen. Well, two huge assumptions there …
1. That your relationship is in good enough shape that you will do this and that
2. He will take the time to get you from zero to orgasm and not try to set a land speed record doing it.
The second major hurdle to intimate is vaginal dryness, making intercourse painful. This is much more easily solved. The over counter remedy is a simple, water soluble lubricant, along the lines of KY jelly. The medical remedy is a topical application. A hormone tablet can be inserted in the vagina lubricating the walls naturally or a hormone based creme can be prepared and inserted.
These symptoms are very common, experienced by two thirds of all women. So talk to your doctor and work on a solution. Then spend some time figuring out with your partner how to get you both to where you want to be. If handled with care, your intimacy can be maintained and enjoyed by both partners.