Your libido is your desire for sex. Approximately 50 percent of women experience loss of libido during menopause.
Most women who experience loss of libido during menopause experience diminished libido. There still is some desire for sex and they may or may not be engaging in some sexual activity with their husbands/partners. Some women who experience loss of libido during menopause have no desire for sex at all.
Many women find that their libido returns after menopause and they enjoy sexual activities with their husbands/partners. A new study found that women in their 60s and 70s had sexual satisfaction levels similar to women in their 30s and 40s. The study consisted of more than 2,100 U.S. women.
The researchers also found that among women who were sexually active after menopause, age wasn't related to higher sexual satisfaction. Instead, sexual satisfaction was linked to higher satisfaction with their relationship, better communication and prioritizing the importance of sex.
There are also many women who do not experience a return of their libido. These women abstain from sex entirely or engage in minimum sexual activity.
There are extremely convincing health benefits from sex. These may encourage you to find ways to increase your sexual activity now - and for the rest of your life. In addition to the health benefits of sex, there is compelling evidence that regular sexual activity helps to relieve menopause symptoms.
Reasons to be sexually active during menopause
I know, I know...You feel like crap and you are experiencing vaginal discomfort. Sex is probably not on your agenda or it is very low on your agenda. But did you know that sexual activity helps to relieve the following menopause symptoms?
- disturbed sleep
- low moods
- joint aches and pains
- muscle aches and pains
- vaginal atrophy (vaginal discomfort)
- urinary incontinence
- brain fog
- menstrual cramps
- reduced stress (stress exacerbates most menopause symptoms)
It can even help you to lose weight!
Researchers have found that regular sexual activity reduces all of these symptoms, in addition to providing you with significant long term health benefits from sex. Learn more by reading on.
Health benefits from sex
Researchers have found that there are significant health benefits from sex, which are derived from regular sexual activity. Regular sexual activity:
1. Reduces your risk of breast cancer: During arousal and orgasm, your levels of “happiness” hormones rise. Two of these, oxytocin and DHEA, help keep breasts cancer free. One study showed that women who have sex more than once a month have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who are less sexually active. The Wall Street Journal reported:
A flurry of small studies suggest that sex is as good for your health as vitamin D and broccoli. It not only relieves stress, improves sleep and burns calories, it can also reduce pain, ease depression, strengthen blood vessels, boost the immune system and lower the risk of prostate and breast cancer.
2. Reduces your risk of heart disease: Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Sex is exercise that raises heart rate and blood flow. Analyses have shown that sexually intense moments have the same benefits on your heart as walking 4 to 6 miles an hour. Researchers found that having sex twice or more a week reduces the risk of fatal heart attack by half, when compared with those who had sex once a month or less.
3. Lowers your blood pressure: High levels of stress increases blood pressure. Those who engage in regular sexual activity experience less stress.
4. Fights colds and flu: Regular sexual activity means better physical health. It boosts your immune system. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections.
5. Reduces pain: Sexual activity releases pain-reducing hormones and has been found to help reduce or block back and leg pain, as well as pain from menstrual cramps, arthritis and headaches.
6. Improves sleep: After sex, the relaxation-inducing hormone prolactin is released, which will help you to fall asleep more quickly. The "love hormone" oxytocin, released during orgasm, also promotes sleep.
7. Improves your mental health: It boosts your mood, fights depression and beats anxiety. Sex causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals that boost your levels of serotonin – the happy hormone – to lift your mood. Serotonin is the body’s key antidepressant chemical and one of the major reasons people smile and feel happy and relaxed after sex. Sexually active women in long-term relationships are also less likely to feel depressed than women who go without sex, according to a study of nearly 300 women by psychologist Gordon Gallup in the American Archives Of Sexual Behavior.
8. Keeps your brain healthy: It increases blood flow to all parts of the brain while allowing nutrients and oxygenation to travel to the brain as well. It helps to prevent the development of dimentia and Alzheimers.
9. Prevents vaginal atrophy symptoms: Having sex two or three times a week can keep vaginal atrophy symptoms away by increasing blood flow to the vagina, which helps improve lubrication and elasticity of the tissues.
10. Weight loss: Sexual activity helps to boost your heart rate, burn calories and strengthen muscles, just like exercise. Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV.
11. Makes you look younger: A study found that those women between the ages of 40 and 50 who reported having sex 50 percent more than other women, looked 5-7 years younger. It causes human growth hormone to be released which makes the skin look younger and more elastic.
12. Makes you live longer: Several studies also suggest that having sex extends life. A 25-year study found that women who enjoyed their sex lives lived seven to eight years longer than those who were indifferent to sex.
The health benefits from sex are compelling. I hope that they encourage you to find ways to increase your sexual activity now and for the rest of your life!
This post is reproduced with the permission of Menopause Matters.
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