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Sunday, August 9, 2020

The truth about sex and menopause, from a menopause doctor

Tthe more sex you have in middle age, the later you will enter menopause. This is the essence of recent headlines after a new study, which followed 3,000 middle-aged women for a decade, found that those who had weekly sex went through menopause later than those who had less than once per month.

One of the study’s authors, Megan Arnot, who is studying for a PhD from University College London, said of the study’s findings: “There is a use or miss of something like that.”

However, as a menopausal doctor, I think we should take these results with a pinch of salt. Partly because the study involved questioning women about their sex life, which always raises the question of how true and accurate the answers are. And secondly, why the problem of menopause and sex is so complex.

Rather than weekly sex that delays menopause, it may be that women who are in the early stages of menopause start having less sex. And this could be for several reasons.

None of the women who took part in the study had yet entered menopause. However, 46% were beginning to experience symptoms, such as changes in their period and hot flashes, which means they were very likely to be perimenopausal, which is the transitory stage leading to menopause. Estrogen and testosterone, two hormones that begin to dive as you approach menopause and then decrease as you go through it, can be very important for self-esteem, self-esteem, weight gain and body image. Which, as every woman knows, are very important when it comes to how much sex you want to have.

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