As you experience menopause-related body changes, you may notice your sex life takes a dip. It’s hard enough talking to your healthcare provider about menopause — so admitting your sexual issues can feel unbearable.
Regardless of your age or what phase of life you’re in, sexual disfunction will negatively impact your quality of life. Your healthcare provider is poised to support you through issues surrounding intimate wellness and offer the right support and guidance as you navigate your new body. So, it’s time to talk about sex!
The right way to approach your provider about sex
When you meet with your healthcare provider, they will likely ask to spend time discussing any issues before performing your exam. In this brief moment it can be easy to forget what you want to talk about, but you want to make the most of your time.
Preparing a list of questions ahead of time is your best bet. It may help to keep a journal of sexual health issues that arise as you experience them. That way you won’t forget when you're in front of your doctor.
Some common sexual symptoms that occur during menopause include:
- Vaginal dryness and irritation
- Discomfort or pain during vaginal intercourse
- Loss of interest in sex
- Lost or diminished orgasm
- Changes in vaginal pH that may make you uncomfortable
No issue is too insignificant to bring up during your appointment. Everything that happens between you and your provider is confidential.
You don’t have to have vaginal intercourse to talk about sex. Sexual activity refers to sex with a partner or solo — and sex happens in many forms, including oral, manual, anal, and everything in between.
Should I talk to my general practitioner or gynecologist?
Your GP may be able to provide insight, but your gynecologist is your best ally when it comes to sexual health and overall intimate wellness. Gynecologists are trained in sexual health and take continuing education courses, stay up-to-date on medical journals, consult with other practitioners to keep current on topics related to sexual health. Your GP is more versed in common health concerns and studies a broader scope of medical issues.
Sexual health can extend beyond symptoms you experience during menopause. You may also want to discuss contraception as you go through menopause, sexually transmitted infections, or starting a new sexual relationship later in life.
It’s important to note that not all gynecologists are trained to support a women’s intimate wellness during menopause. If you feel your gynecologist isn’t providing the right support, you can advocate for yourself by interviewing other doctors with extensive menopause health training and menopause solutions.
Do I have to wait for my annual exam to talk with my doctor?
If your sexual health concerns interfere with your quality of life, book an appointment with your provider as soon as possible. Leading up to your appointment, keep a detailed record of any physical or emotional changes.
Your doctor will want as much information as possible about any pain, dryness, or sex drive issues that arise. It’s also essential to talk about any stress in your personal life. Sexual health is also related to your daily stress, and issues may not be directly related to menopause.Learn more about how to maintain your intimate wellness with proven menopause solutions from the Joylux team here on our website.