Sex after menopause? Some experts will tell you it’s a downhill ride of waning sex drive and dried up hormones.
Sorry, we’re not buying it. We happen to think there are plenty of 50-plus babes who are rocking it just as much as in their younger days. (See Madonna.) And there’s no reason the rest of us shouldn’t too.
“You’re not bothered by menses. You’re not bothered by kids in the house. You can have sex in any room in the house,” says Irwin Goldstein, MD, the director of San Diego Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital. “You can have the greatest sex life on earth.”
Sex in your 40s can be great, but you may still be making school lunches, wiping noses, juggling a career, and trying to avoid pregnancy.
“Forty to fifty is still an anxiety point for many women because you can still get pregnant,” says Margaret E. Wierman, MD, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in Denver. “Once you’re menopausal, that worry is gone.”
Think about it—no tampons, pads, pills, diaphragms, IUDs, or condoms (if you have a long-term monogamous partner). What could be better?
After 50, your kids aren’t likely to be interrupting any bedroom sessions or waking you up in the middle of the night.
“Time is a huge factor,” says Amanda Richards, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
“Even menopausal women who are mothers are usually no longer the classic soccer mom,” she says. “Children are more independent, and the couple has more time for themselves and their relationship.”
Think Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. Older babes know what they want in the bedroom and don’t have to be shy about it.
“Menopause is a very defining time for most women, many of whom realize that they have put their sexuality on the back burner for way too long, and if they don’t use it, they will lose it for good,” says Dr. Richards.
“There’s some data to suggest that women become less inhibited as they age, so it’s often a time of relaxation and being comfortable with who you are, and that often improves sexual functioning and sexual performance,” says Dr. Wierman.
You may want it more
Experts will tell you that declining hormones could mean you’ll want it less, but that isn’t necessarily so. Desire, once quelled by birth control pills, could resurge, says Dr. Richards.
And if desire is a problem, proper hormone management can help, she says. While long-term use of traditional hormone replacement therapies, which include estrogen and progestin, are no longer recommended due to the heart and health risks, there are other options.
Hormone therapies that include testosterone are being explored as a way to boost libido, says Dr. Richards.