While you may think you don’t have to worry about menopause until you’re older, perimenopause can start as early as age 30. And, if you happen to be a man and believe you don’t have to worry about such things at all, allow me to introduce you to andropause—otherwise known as ‘Male Menopause’.
Without exception, every woman goes through menopause.
Menopause is the term given when a woman has no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months. As previously mentioned, it can start as early as 30 years of age or as late as the mid-60s. Menopause actually has three separate stages: perimenopause, which can begin 8-10 years prior to menopause itself, which is the second stage, and finally postmenopause.
There is a wide variety of symptoms, the most common being:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Decreased libido
- Vaginal dryness
Most often, it’s the lower sex drive and vaginal dryness, which can lead to painful sex, that concern people the most.
Managing Your Sex Drive
As with all health regimes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise is a good place to start. Discussing options for hormone replacement therapy or vaginal preparations with your physician is also smart. But there are other ways that you can naturally give your sex drive a boost.
Many OB-GYN’s recommend natural supplements to help increase libido:
- Black Cohosh
- Red Clover
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb used in Ayurveda practices. According to biomedical research, study participants who took daily doses of ashwagandha reported having more orgasms and more satisfying sex overall.
Research also found Korean red ginseng improved sexual arousal in menopausal women. The study found that the herb had a relaxing effect on the clitoral and vaginal muscles.
There are other options than supplements if you’re willing to get hands-on with your personal menopause treatment.
Studies have found Kegel exercises can help boost libido by increasing muscle tone in the pelvic floor and creating sexual energy flow. While Kegel exercises can be done unassisted, it can be more fun to use products made for the task. There are quite a few options to consider.
A Kegel training set can assist with pelvic floor exercises. Kegel exercisers come in different shapes—teardrops, round, double balls—to suit your personal preference. There are even vibrating versions that may help increase pleasure.
Consider wearing Ben Wa balls while practicing yoga. Research has found that yoga improves sexual function in women, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain, particularly in older women.
Research has also shown the use of vibrators can help increase sexual arousal and boost sex drives. Additionally, the studies found that vibrators can help increase natural lubrication, reduce pain associated with sexual activities, and improve overall sexual function. All great reasons to add pleasure products to your menopause relief plan.
Increase Your Lubrication
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause, affecting approximately one in every three women. This is due to the loss of estrogen, which can make vaginal tissue thinner and drier.
While your doctor can prescribe an estrogen cream, it’s important to add a quality lubricant to your sexual encounters.
Topical arousal products can also be helpful for increasing natural lubrication. There are several versions to consider—balms, lotions, serums, gels, and more. Their ingredients help promote blood flow and increase circulation, which can help with wetness and sensitivity.
Most arousal solutions are not meant to be used with penetration, which is why you need both a lubricant for penetrative sex play and an arousal product for external arousal benefits.
What is Andropause?
Andropause is defined as a syndrome associated with a decrease in sexual satisfaction attributed to low levels of testosterone in older man. After men turn 30, their testosterone decreases approximately 10% every decade.
Common symptoms can include reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), as well as decreased motivation and self-confidence, which can directly affect how a person views himself sexually.
Like menopause, andropause can affect a person for a long period, with some symptoms lasting 15-20 years. And, like menopause, there are things that may help.
Speaking to your physician about low testosterone levels and possible treatments is a good place to start. But many of the same items used to combat menopause can be helpful for andropause. For instance, yoga has been found to be helpful, and ashwagandha may help men with low libidos and has been found to naturally increase testosterone levels.
If you’re looking for a product that may be able to help with erectile dysfunction, perhaps you should consider using an erection ring. Erection rings are also called cock rings, love rings, c-rings, penis rings and shaft rings and are made to be worn around the penis, usually at the base, to restrict blood flow from an erect penis in order to extend erection time and help delay ejaculation. A second cock ring, or a double cock ring, can be used around the base of the penis and the testicles if desired.
Menopause and andropause are both natural processes that can’t be prevented. But, with lubrication, pleasure products, and healthy living, you may still enjoy a great sex life.
Do you have menopause or andropause? Have one of the recommended tips or techniques worked for you? Please send me your questions and comments. I’m always here to help you.