Hesperian Health Guides

Sexual relations after the end of monthly bleeding

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities > Chapter 13: Growing older with a disability > Sexual relations after the end of monthly bleeding

For some women, menopause means freedom from the sexual demands of a relationship. Other women become more interested in sex perhaps because they no longer fear an unwanted pregnancy. All women, though, continue to need love and affection.

a woman in a wheelchair hugging a man who sits on a bed.
There is no reason you cannot enjoy sex for as long as you live.

As you grow older, some of the changes in your body may affect your sexual relations. You may take longer to become excited during sex (this also happens to men). And because your body no longer makes as much of the hormone estrogen, your vagina may be more dry. This can make sex with a man uncomfortable, or more easily lead to infections of the vagina or the urine system.

Also, the skin inside your vagina will also get thinner, so make sure to take more time before having sex so your vagina can make its own natural wetness. You can also use spit (saliva), vegetables oils (corn oil, olive oil), or water-based lubricants.

If you are having sex with a man and it is difficult for him to get his penis hard (erection), try to learn what he likes. Touching him may help make him excited.

  • Do not use oils for lubrication if you are using condoms. Oil will weaken the condom and it may break.
  • Do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or oils that contain perfumes to increase wetness in the vagina. These can cause irritation.
  • Do not use anything in your vagina to make it dry. This can also cause irritation in the vagina, which can make it easier to get HIV or other infections.
  • To prevent urine problems, pass urine before having sexual intercourse and as soon as possible afterward. This will help flush germs out of the urethra that may otherwise get into the bladder and cause an infection.