Menopause does not eliminate the ability of a woman to reach orgasm. However, hormonal and vaginal changes can affect a woman’s ability to enjoy sex and achieve an orgasm.
Due to reduced estrogen levels and changes in the vascular and nervous systems, a woman’s clitoris is likely to be less sensitive than in earlier years. Loss of estrogen can also lead to vaginal atrophy (thinning, dryness, and inflammation of vaginal walls) and reduced blood supply to the lower vagina. Both can affect vaginal lubrication, causing sex to become uncomfortable, sometimes even painful.
Additional factors that can influence a woman’s level of interest in sex include bladder control problems, sleep disturbances, depression or anxiety, medications, and other health concerns.
Although loss of estrogen may result in a reduction in the sensations and pleasure women experience during sex, there are many simple and effective treatments making it possible to enjoy a healthy sex life after menopause. Some of the commonly used treatments include vaginal lubricants and moisturizers and low dose vaginal estrogen to rejuvenate the tissues. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is most appropriate for you.