Sexual Health

Symptoms

If identify as a man, you may have noticed that it has started taking longer to achieve a full erection once you reach the age of 60-65. Your erection also may not be as firm as it was when you were younger. It may take more time to reach full arousal, orgasm, and ejaculation, too. 

If you identify as a woman, menopause brings a reduction in the production of estrogen, as well as other hormones important to sexual health. You may notice side effects of this, such as:

  • Less lubrication and more vaginal dryness during sex.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.  This can be caused by dryness, vaginal atrophy (thinning of the vaginal walls), or other reasons. The pain may include a psychological factor. For example, worrying about pain can make it harder to get aroused, which means that lubrication is decreased. The decreased lubrication contributes to pain during intercourse, even if vaginal atrophy has been treated successfully.
  • Slower sexual arousal and general loss of libido (interest in sex).
  • More difficulty achieving orgasm, and the need for more foreplay and direct clitoral stimulation.
  • Experiencing reduced sexual sensations, which leads to lower sexual response.
  • Fewer and weaker orgasms.
  • In some women, painful contractions during orgasm.

Updated: October 2017