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Article: Maintaining fulfilled sexuality after menopause

Ménopause sexualité épanouie sextoy rééducation périnéale périnée
Interview

Maintaining fulfilled sexuality after menopause

Hot flashes, vaginal dryness... Menopause is often accompanied by its share of inconveniences which can impact desire and sexual life. However, maintaining a fulfilled sexuality is entirely possible (and even recommended) after this milestone. We tell you more with Marion Pollono , physiotherapist specializing in the perineum and sexologist.

A woman's life is punctuated by many stages. Menopause is one of those milestones that need not be feared but must be approached with the right keys. Some preconceived ideas define it as marking the end of fulfilled sexuality. Now if the desire is there, it is far from being inevitable. Taking care of your desire and thriving sexually is possible at any age.

Disorders encountered during menopause that can impact sexuality

Menopause is a natural phenomenon that occurs in women on average around the age of 50 (between 45 and 55). “ It occurs when the ovaries stop their hormonal secretion (estrogen and progesterone) and the formation of an egg each month. We say that menopause is truly “established” when menstruation has been absent for a year ,” specifies Health Insurance.

Menopause can then be accompanied by several disorders, and these can have an impact on sex life. “ The first reason for consultation among the women that I receive is desire disorder, difficulty in achieving arousal or pleasure/orgasm as well as vaginal dryness and/or pain during penetration ,” explains Marion Pollono.

Then there is a whole cohort of symptoms: hot flashes, sleep disorders or depressive disorders, which can affect sexuality indirectly ,” continues the physiotherapist and sexologist.

If one has always had excellent sexuality before, namely good marital understanding, good knowledge of oneself, this can help but not always. If there were difficulties before, however, this can only be increased ,” indicates Marion Pollono.

Sexuality after 50, a taboo?

If more and more people are talking about sexuality and access to pleasure for women, the taboo of a high libido after the age of 50 still remains too present. “ It is twofold and comes from both the patients and the caregivers:

  • Caregivers are not always trained, informed and do not know where to refer them.
  • Those receiving treatment may have a tendency to say that menopause is normal, and are sometimes embarrassed to even talk about it to their gynecologist,” laments Marion Pollono.

“We are victims of ageism. Young people imagine that at 60, it's no longer worth making love. However, sex contributes to the well-being and harmony of the couple. Lots of couples continue to have an active sexuality! » , specifies the physiotherapist.

Professionals to consult to take care of your libido

Management during menopause can be multiple. Marion Pollono recommends consulting, in addition to your gynecologist, a urologist in the event of a urinary problem, but also “ a physiotherapist or midwife specialized in genito-pelvic pain, to improve the flexibility of the tissues ". Finally, consulting a psycho-sexologist can also be beneficial, “ this can be done with the partner, to undertake an adjustment to sexuality outside of penetration ”. Here again you will have understood, communication is the key to fulfilling sexuality.

Treatments contribute to maintaining satisfactory sexuality. “ The treatment varies, firstly there is substitution treatment, to compensate for the drop in hormones. For certain patients who have had breast cancer or a family history, we do not prescribe this treatment, as a precaution, and we will instead move towards estrogens applied locally, with eggs or creams, to maintain a healthy good tissue quality. Often, it stops there. This is good, but it is not enough, there is also a need for a daily moisturizer, based on hyaluronic acid in particular .”

In GUMS (genitourinary syndrome of menopause), there may be a combination of symptoms: “ dryness, urinary problems such as repeated cystitis or bladder instability (a permanent urge to urinate), pruritus (itching ), or even vulvovaginal atrophy (the tissues shrink). To combat this, estrogens are useful and maintaining sexual activity is beneficial ,” explains Marion Pollono.

However, pain maintains a vicious circle. The more pain we have, the less we want to have sex and the less sex we have, the more pain we have because the tissues contract and the mucous membrane dries out. “ When there has been pain, apprehension results, we come back to the muscular part, the muscle of the perineum contracts, so we have to relearn how to release it, massage, stretch… ” adds the physiotherapist.

Article on the importance of Kegel balls in strengthening the perineum to regain fulfilled sexuality.

Advice for fulfilling sexuality after menopause

Is flourishing sexuality after menopause possible? " Of course ! », exclaims the physio-sexologist. “ There is a communication problem on this subject, which leads people to think that nothing more happens after a certain age. However, that is false. And whether with your long-time partner or a new partner, if the genital area is weakened, there are therapeutic options to remedy this and fully enjoy your sexuality .”

For the professional, this involves taking estrogen treatment when possible, maintaining the perineum, with this work of contraction and relaxation, but also hydrating the genital area, “ with creams intended for this purpose or simply coconut or sweet almond oil .

And if you don't have a partner, you can use " sex toys or dilators to maintain the vaginal cavity ". The intimate testimony of Sarah , 35, who discovers vaginal pleasure thanks to sex toys, echoes this approach.

Finally, if you like to get ready , “it is important to do so, to continue to feel beautiful, it will maintain a positive outlook on yourself and be beneficial on desire. Certainly, we do not have the same sexuality at 50-60 years old as at 20 years old, it evolves, changes but we adapt, and above all it is not the end of the pleasure for all that (if the desire is here !) ".

The positive aspects of menopause

Instead of seeing menopause as an end, Marion Pollono instead invites us to focus on the positive points. “ We know ourselves better, there is an evolution of our sexuality throughout our lives, we constantly discover ourselves, we understand how we function, sometimes we reach orgasm late. We can better locate our clitoris and our pleasure, and the person opposite has also reached more maturity, which allows for good communication within the couple. »

Another significant point: “ the children leave the nest, we are no longer a parental couple, we become a married couple again. Furthermore, professional life is often more serene, we are no longer working girls who have to prove everything. We have proven ourselves. All these elements are assets for finding Zen sexuality and which bring a lot of pleasure. »

Nina Ristori

Sources

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