Menopause is a time of changes but also a time of new beginnings. Dr. Chavez talks to Everyday Health about the importance of understanding how menopause impacts libido and tips to talking to your partner about changes in your sexuality.
How does it affect your sex drive?
“The effect of hormones can have a huge impact on mood,” says Shannon Chavez, PhD, a psychologist and sex therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. “It can cause depression, stress, and sometimes grief as women are coming to terms with such a major life change.”
“Libido is all about energy,” she adds. “When menopause hits, it causes so many physical and emotional changes in the body that it leaves a woman depleted of energy. If a woman is fatigued, the last thing on her mind is usually sex.”
Why is it important to talk to your partner about sex?
“Most women are embarrassed to talk about the changes or are not sure how to approach the subject with their partner,” says Chavez. “The most important factor for a woman is to talk to her partner if any sexual activity is painful or part of the body is sensitive.”
Sex is more than just intercourse. It’s about intimacy and pleasure.
“Remember that sexual intimacy can improve libido,” says Chavez. “It doesn’t have to be intercourse, but it can be sensual play and primal intimacy like kissing and caressing. Libido is constantly changing for a woman — not only during menopause.”
Read the full article here for more information on resources for maintaining your sex drive during menopause.