Aside from a bottle of fine wine, there aren’t many things in life that do actually get better with age - but sex happens to be one of them. You don’t need us to tell you that sex can have a myriad of benefits throughout your life. Menopausal women can reap even more health benefits from sex, from the obvious (stress relief) to the surprising (migraine prevention). Read on to learn more about the benefits of sex during menopause.
1. Sex is way better than it was in your 20s
In your 20s, you were likely still figuring who you wanted to be: your likes, dislikes, and your goals. The same is true for your sex life, and it’s entirely possible that you had some not-so-great sex in order to determine what you really wanted. During that time, you were only just beginning to build up your confidence. By the time you reach your 40s and 50s, you’re much more likely to have that confidence and know for sure what you want from your partner.
2. Relieve stress
Menopause mood swings are brutal. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re ready to burst into tears. It’s no wonder why so many menopausal women experience increased stress. Well, the good news is that sex is a natural stress reliever, soothing anxiety like few things can. Touching and hugging release feel-good hormones, promoting feelings of relaxation and contentment.
3. Overcome vaginal dryness
Vaginal atrophy - or the drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls - is a real concern for menopausal women. It’s true that if you don’t use it, you can lose it: without increased blood flow to the vagina, you have a greater chance of experiencing vaginal atrophy. The solution? Being sexually active during menopause helps maintain that blood flow and keeps your vaginal tissue healthy.
4. Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
About 30% of women experience incontinence at some point in their lives, with two of the most common times being post-childbirth and during menopause. Kegel exercises are one way to beat incontinence. The other way? Regular sex is a great workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you orgasm, you expand and contract those muscles, which helps strengthen them - just in case you needed an excuse to have more orgasms.
5. Elevate your heart rate
Yes, sex really does count as exercise. While it’s not a complete replacement for hitting the gym, sex elevates your heart rate and burns about 5 calories per minute. With these heart-healthy benefits, it’s possible that regular sex can help prevent heart attacks, too.
6. Get better sleep
The sleep struggle for menopausal women is very real, with 56% of women reporting to get less than 7 hours of shut-eye per night, and 30.8% reporting that they have trouble staying asleep. Between night sweats and other menopause symptoms, getting a good night’s rest can feel impossible. But according to Sleep.org, sex boosts oxytocin, lowers cortisol, and orgasms release prolactin. The result is a drowsy state that ultimately leads to a deeper, more restful sleep.
There are so many reasons to celebrate sex during menopause
Sex during menopause can improve your mood, help you sleep, relieve stress, and so much more. Best of all, when you’re in the prime of your life, you have the confidence to enjoy sex more than ever before. To learn more about sex drive and menopause, check out our post, 7 Myths About Menopause and Sex Drive.