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November 21, 2018

Is this Menopause?

Valentine, I am in my early 40s and I have noticed recently that I am dry during sex.  Not all the time.  Sometimes things start out ok then they change and others times, nothing at all.  My husband is good at foreplay so what is happening?  Is this menopause?

Angela

Well Angela, thanks a lot for your question and I urge you to visit the Star’s website and look for an article I wrote a few months ago on peri-menopause (I believe it was around April).

Contrary to common belief, menopause is a 6 to 12 year process that begins with peri-menopause and culminates in a full year where a woman does not get her monthly period, and that is menopause. This process starts at different times for different people and all women experience different symptoms, one of which is vaginal dryness.

I am however, not a doctor and even if I was I could not diagnose you over a 40 word email, so please make sure you see a gynecologist and have a more in depth conversation and interrogation of your condition.

If you find that you are indeed peri-menopausal, it is not the end of the world, but rather the beginning of a new phase of your life, and more specifically your sex life.  Many women continue to have a robust and fulfilling sex life well passed menopause and into old age, they just have to accept what is happening fully and make some adjustments.

That your body is changing, might fill you with all manner of emotion, from shame to anger, denial and even sadness.  It is ok to mourn the end of what you have known, and perhaps, your ability to have children.  Also talk to your partner about what is happening. Next buy some lubricant and keep it handy by the bedside. You can have a lot of fun with different flavours of lubricant, extended foreplay and expanding your definition of sex to include more than simple intercourse and male ejaculation.

All will be well Angela, just start by seeing your doctor and getting to the crux of the issue.

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Many of us have a narrow definition of what sex is. We tend to consider male ejaculation as the end of a sexual encounter, and kissing and foreplay as the beginning and sort stage of sex. This narrow idea and trajectory of events, limits our self-expression, and largely ignores female orgasm, treating it as something that might happen rather than a priority.

Ladies, we are to blame for this. We have to start demanding orgasms. We have to let our partners know that sex is not complete without our climax. You do not have to make your partner feel inadequate, just a simple, ‘sikumaliza’ will do and his ego should do the rest.  If he for some reason ignores what you have said, try taking his hand and showing him where and how you want to be touched. Nobody will prioritise or your orgasm until you do it.

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