07 Jun 2023 • 7 min read
Menopause is when your body experiences a lot of changes due to a shift in your hormones, which causes your periods to stop. It generally happens between ages 45 to 55, but of course this can vary.1
Not sure about the difference between menopause and perimenopause? Essentially, perimenopause is the run up to your periods stopping – so you’ll likely experience the symptoms of menopause but may still have periods. You officially reach menopause once you haven’t had a period for over 12 months.1
Many people experience vaginal dryness as a symptom of menopause, but why does this happen? It’s the drop in oestrogen that causes it. This hormonal shift can affect how much discharge or vaginal fluid you have, as there’s a reduction in glands that produce it.2 Additionally, oestrogen makes the lining of the vagina thicker and more elastic, as well as stimulating glycogen which encourages bacteria that protects against infections.3
Intimacy is super important for any romantic relationship, but without the right help, vaginal dryness may have an impact on your sex life. For example, the NHS lists the following ways that it could make you feel like you want to have less sex:2
This may also have a knock-on effect on your mental health, so it’s important to check in with yourself and seek support if you feel like you need it.
As well as physical symptoms like dryness, some women feel like their libido dives off a cliff when they’re going through menopause. It’s probably down to a combination of things, like a decrease in testosterone and oestrogen, the discomfort that comes with vaginal dryness, having a reduced sex drive due to the change in hormone levels, having night sweats that can affect your energy levels and desire for sex, as well as emotional changes that don’t leave you in the right headspace to get intimate.4
You may not fancy getting jiggy with it all the time, but thankfully you can still enjoy sex during and after menopause. Here’s how:
Vaginal dryness is uncomfortable, so why put up with it. Thankfully, there are some things you can try to help ease some of the discomfort. These include:2
Our final message is this, sex should be pleasurable whether you’re going through menopause or not. Using the advice above and seeking medical help may be able to improve your symptoms and let you enjoy getting intimate again.
Think you might be experiencing vaginal atrophy? You can learn more about what vaginal atrophy is and how to manage it in our guide.