Female arousal is the result of sexual stimulation and pleasure. When you are aroused, the genital area feels “engorged”. This is because blood fills the blood vessels in the pelvis, vulva, and clitoris. Also, the vagina and labia become moist with a clear fluid (1,2).
As sexual stimulation occurs, muscles contract throughout the body and breathing accelerates until climax is reached; i.e. the peak of muscle tension is suddenly released and produces orgasm and sometimes female ejaculation occurs. (2).
Female arousal is essential for female orgasm and even desire. Many women do not experience sexual desire until they are stimulated enough to become aroused, especially during menopause (2,3).
Menopausal changes that influence female arousal
During the menopause, changes in hormone levels; mainly a decrease in oestrogen can negatively affect female arousal. Among the changes associated with decreased sexual response that you may easily notice are (4,5,6):
- Reduced vaginal lubrication during female arousal, leading to vaginal dryness.
- Low sensitivity to physical contact and caressing of the vaginal area.
- Discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse.
- Lack of interest in sex.
- Hot flushes and night sweats.
- Decreased vaginal elasticity.
- The tissues of the vagina become thinner.
Tips for female arousal during menopause
Read on to find out more (6,7,8):
Don’t reduce sexual activity
It may sound counterintuitive due to the loss of interest in sex; however, don’t let this hold you back. Frequent sex can increase blood flow to the vagina and maintain healthy tissues.
Also, engage in masturbation and erotic games, either alone or with your partner. This can help you explore what kind of touching and stimulation can work, as well as make you more comfortable with sexual activity. On the other hand, it can help your partner learn how to reach a woman’s G-spot faster.
After menopause, you no longer need to worry about taking different types of contraceptives, but use lubricants, creams, and moisturisers to relieve vaginal dryness. This can help make sex more comfortable and therefore increase your libido, because it reduces pain or discomfort.
But take it easy! Don’t choose a lubricant without first consulting your doctor. There is a wide variety and if you don’t use the right one for you, it can cause irritation.
Physical activity not only help to combat weight gain but can also help improve your mood. Exercising induces the release of endorphins, which can reduce stress and trigger positive emotions. As a result, you’ll be more willing to have sex and maintain your sexual health.
Now, if you don’t feel comfortable exercising, you can take up another activity that you are interested in. The point is to do something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like work.
To achieve female arousal, practice Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises can help you strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve sensations during sex. They are easy to do, and the best thing is that you can do them anywhere, anytime.
Communicate with your partner
Don’t be ashamed to tell your partner about your new needs in relation to sex or changing desires. It’s a natural occurrence for all women. Often, decreased sexual arousal is due to physical symptoms. Therefore, feeling connected with your partner can:
- Help you become more willing to have sex.
- Be a great source of support you need to cope with all the changes that menopause often brings.
Your partner can even help you find solutions to achieve arousal with homemade options such as eating aphrodisiac foods.
Facing menopause can be uncomfortable because of the changes you experience, such as difficulty in achieving female arousal; however, it’s no reason to stop enjoying your sex life. With these tips, everything can get better. Put them into practice and be encouraged to continue taking advantage of all the benefits of sex.
- Conn A, Hodges K. Overview of female sexual function and dysfunction [Internet]. MSD Manual; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/sexual-dysfunction-in-women/overview-of-female-sexual-function-and-dysfunction
- Healthwise. Female Sexual response [Internet]. Cigna; 2021. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.cigna.com/knowledge-center/hw/female-sexual-response-tn10107
- Alkon C, Atkins A. Women and orgasm: facts about the female climax [Internet]. Every Health; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/the-female-orgasm.aspx
- NAMS. Decreased arousal [Internet]. The North American Menopause Society. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/sexual-problems-at-midlife/decreased-arousal
- Johnson T. Sex and menopause [Internet]. WebMD; 2021. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/sex-menopause
- Hersh E. Does menopause affect your libido? [Internet]. Healthline; 2020. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-libido
- Nall R. How does menopause affect sex drive? [Internet]. Medical News Today; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320266
- NAMS. How to increase your sexual desire during menopause [Internet]. The North American Menopause Society. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/sexual-health/how-to-increase-your-sexual-desire-during-menopause