These days, we look at our vaginas — or more correctly, vulvas — much more than women or men used to. And as we get older or after childbirth, many of us are shocked to find the area has changed. So, what can you expect to happen to your vagina? What's normal and what's not? First things first. Just as everyone has a different body shape, eye colour, or preference for sexual partner, there is also enormous variation in vaginas and vulvas, regardless of age.
What to do if sex is painful or uncomfortable
COVID See our safety measures , patient and visitor policies , vaccine updates and latest information. For many older women, talking about sex is still downright awkward. But if you want to enjoy a happy, healthy sex life which has been shown to reduce stress and improve heart health , candid discussions with your partner and doctor are often essential. Here, an expert offers advice to help older women have a fulfilling sex life after menopause — and explains why it's still important to protect yourself during sex. Most of the problems older women have are due to decreased estrogen levels that accompany menopause. A woman reaches menopause when she has gone through 12 consecutive months without any periods. After that, she's considered postmenopausal. The average age of menopause is
‘Women are taught to fear their bodies’: 51, five children
Learn more. Sex has health benefits such as boosting your immune system, lowering blood pressure and burning calories. The truth is, rather than feel sexually stalled, there is a large body of research showing that a lot of action is going on between the sheets among those in their 50s and older. When it comes to those in their 50s, a separate study found that up to 91 percent of men and 86 percent of women are sexually active. And one in three somethings is having sex at least once a week. Krasnow and other experts argue that people should not assume that the decline in hormones that happens as women age automatically leads to a decline in libido. A bigger factor in determining the enjoyment of your sex life is whether you had issues with desire and orgasm before menopause. In short, women can still pursue a fulfilling sex life — even after menopause. As women age, they will have less vaginal lubrication, and it may take longer for the vagina to naturally lubricate itself.
Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email sexpert seniorplanet. I dated a few men after my divorce, but no one for the past decade. But the older I get, the more insecure I feel about my body.