If you’re going through perimenopause right now, sex might be the last thing on your mind. Considering all the changes women go through during perimenopause — including hormone shifts, hair loss, and perimenopausal depression — it’s no surprise that many ladies notice their libido drop in the meantime. However, it’s worth mentioning that perimenopause can also dial up your sex drive to the point that you’re insatiable. At the end of the day, every woman’s perimenopause experience is different. But no matter what this stage looks like for you, there are steps you can take to improve sex during perimenopause — and there’s no better time to start than right now.
1. Don’t stop taking birth control until your doctor gives you the OK. According to the FDA, it may still be possible for you to get pregnant even if you’ve already had a positive result from a menopause home test kit. And as you probably know, few things can mess up your “mood” more than stressing about an unplanned pregnancy. Peace of mind is so much better.
2. Avoid any products that might irritate your private parts. Sure, a bubble bath with your partner might seem romantic, but the risk of itchiness down there sure as heck isn’t. According to the Office on Women’s Health, strong soaps have the potential to cause a sneaky infection when you least expect it. Oh, and a reminder that experts say you should stop douching immediately if that’s part of your routine — no matter how old you are.
3. But remember that water-based lubricants and vaginal moisturizers are your friends. If you’re dealing with any discomfort with sex during perimenopause, The North American Menopause Society says these over-the-counter lubes and vaginal moisturizers can help ease most pain. If for whatever reason they don’t help much or if you still have severe discomfort, you might need to talk to your doctor about trying low-dose vaginal estrogen products instead.
4. Try out some pelvic floor exercises. Experts say that taking up this form of specialized physical therapy can help prevent “leaking” down there during menopause. Going beyond the simple kegel exercises, pelvic floor physical therapy can work wonders when it comes to strengthening those private muscles — not to mention relaxing them when you’re ready for some fun.
5. Consider speaking with your doctor about products to increase your sex drive. If you find yourself lacking the interest you once had, the Office on Women’s Health recommends having a conversation with your doctor about medicine that might help. Whether it’s pills, creams, or any other type of medication, always get the all-clear from a professional before moving forward.
6. When you’re having sex, take your time. The moisture that comes from being aroused down there actually helps protect your sensitive tissues. On top of that, going at a leisurely pace can also make the whole process a lot more comfortable for you — at any age. Plus, there’s really no need for you to rush, so why bother?
7. Have sex more often. According to the Mayo Clinic, remaining sexually active can actually ease any vaginal discomfort you have. Since it increases blood flow down there, you might be surprised by the improvement you see. We bet that both you and your partner will be happy about that!