Lifestyle & wellbeing to help with loss of libido
Time to talk
When it comes to intimacy with your partner do you talk about
a) everything, no holds barred, b) most things, or c) nothing?
If your answer was a) then it seems you’re in the minority. If you’re in the b) or c) camp, then it might be time to tell it like it is. Whatever is happening in your own corner of menopause mayhem, share it with your partner, so that they know the reason for your lack of interest in sex. It’s likely to be a consequence of a number of physical, emotional and hormonal changes. Not easy on your relationship, so communication and spending time with your partner are key to keeping things on track and staying connected and close.
Women's Health Physiotherapist Christien Bird spoke with Hot Flush on the importance of talking about your sexual problems, whether you are suffering painful sex or low mood, one of the best forms of therapy is talking about it. Read our post on Menopause and Painful Sex: 4 top tips to prevent painful sex during menopause.
Deal with libido-lowering stress by exercising
Stress has a negative impact on libido, identify your stress trigger and find your own stress buster. Try Pilates or Yoga as calming, stretching exercises are good for relaxation, release endorphins and will improve your overall muscle tone. Check out our vlog Yoga with Annie – Basic Stretching Exercises
Sleep is probably not what you have in mind when it comes to sex. However, a good night’s sleep is essential to a healthy libido and a healthy body. So if your love life is a priority, make sleep a priority too.
Strengthen your pelvic floor
The simplest way to engage with your pelvic floor we were advised by physiotherapist Christien Bird from the White Hart Clinic, is to clench your bum hole! (anus), as if you are trying to hold in a fart and hold it for 10 seconds.
Yes, if your Vaginal muscles and pelvic floor can do with a lift right now, you need to start practicing Kegel exercises, repeated squeezing of your pelvic muscles. Try the following:
- Lie on your back or sit on a chair and quickly relax and contract your pelvic muscles 10 times, taking 10 seconds. You should continue breathing normally whilst doing this, and not suck in your tummy.
- Repeat the set of 10 taking slower contractions and holding each contraction for a count of 5, the whole set taking about 50 seconds.
- Do this three to four times a day.
Watch our video with Women's Health Pysiotherapist Christien Bird on the importance of pelvic floor exercise to improve your sexual experience, especially if painful sex is contributing to your loss of libido. You could also watch our vlog with Jane, an ex opera singer, showing us how she teaches her students pelvic floor exercises.
Download the NHS Squeezy app. Designed to remind women to do their pelvic floor exercises. It's free, there's now no excuses to forget!
Scented soaps and shower gels can be astringent. If vaginal dryness is making you sore, water alone is the best way to wash your intimate bits. Use a natural body wash especially formulated for your vagina if you need to feel fresher. Try Canesfresh Feminine Wash Soothing Wash Gel. It’s a Canesten product that has been developed especially for those times “when you’re suffering discomfort around your intimate area”, such as vaginal dryness and thrush.
Lubricate and moisturise
Your vagina is less likely during menopause to produce moisture when stimulated and it also shrinks a little, so it’s time for a little lubrication. Lubricants are usually used to relieve vaginal dryness during intercourse rather than as a long-term solution. Products include KY Jelly or Slippery Stuff, a water-based personal lubricant.
Now cross your legs, the tissue around your vagina thins during menopause and sex may cause uncomfortable friction or even tearing. Recommended in NICE guidelines Replens long-lasting vaginal moisturiser and Sylk Natural Intimate Moisturiser are available on prescription, over the counter, or online.
Read our article written by Sylk on Sex and the Menopause for addition tips to re-light your fire!