Blush: Sex and Menopause

Once menopause hits, a lot of changes start happening, and most of them are hormonal.

In case you don’t know, pretty much everything that goes on in your body is regulated by hormones, but especially your sex drive. For example, just a small change in testosterone (everyone has this, btw) can make your sex drive fluctuate drastically.

I was trying to go abstract with a wrinkled piece of paper, but I wasn't liking it. This is a much better image to suit menopause. Image from here.
I was trying to go abstract with a wrinkled piece of paper, but I wasn’t liking it. This is a much better image to suit menopause. Image from here.

The North American Menopause Society is a great resource for people approaching menopause. It has a plethora of references, articles, and resources.

After reading through this website, some of the things that struck me are:

  • yoga helps with a lot of the problems
  • don’t be afraid to ask for a therapist (if you’re in Ottawa, Sue McGarvie has excellent reviews as a sex therapist)
  • do Kegels daily – not only does this increase blood flow, but it helps to strengthen your pelvic floor (and this should be done by all adults at all ages!)
  • lube is not a frivolity, but a necessity (again, for all ages)
  • a lot of people are going through this – don’t be ashamed to ask for help

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

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Blush: Kegels

Your doctor may have mentioned that you should be doing Kegel exercises, no matter what your genitalia looks like.

Cute exercise picture. Because cute. Image from pinterest.
Cute exercise picture. Because cute. Image from pinterest.

Why should you bother?

There is one major reason to do Kegels: to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Who cares about the pelvic floor?

Well, everyone should. You may not have any problems with incontinence now, but over the course of your life, your pelvic muscles loosen, allowing for leakage from the bladder to happen. Hence the market for TENA, Poise, Always (yes, they have bladder protection pads as well as menstrual pads), and Depends.

Ok! Pelvic strength is important! How do I exercise it?

First you need to find the muscles. Go to the bathroom and start to urinate. Then stop it mid-stream. The muscles you use to stop the flow are your pelvic muscles.

Now that you know which muscles you’re supposed to be exercising, it’s time to get to it.

The general process is fairly easy: tighten your muscles for 5 seconds, release for 5 seconds, and repeat 10-15 times, three times daily. Gradually build up your strength by increasing the amount of time you tighten your muscles; 10 seconds, 15 seconds, etc. The easiest position to do these exercises is when lying down, moderate position is sitting up, and hardest is while standing.

Please note: Don’t exercise the wrong muscle group. The rest of your body should be relaxed during this time. Don’t hold your breath, clench your teeth, or tense any other muscles.

If you have any trouble finding the correct muscle group, the reference below gives more techniques for finding them. It also has some suggestions about when you can do the exercises. I do mine at meal times, because then I didn’t forget to eat, or exercise!


Reference

www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/pelvic-floor-muscles


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press

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