Published: June 26, 2013
“It is normal for the vagina, and the parts within and around the vagina, to atrophy with age,” says Dr. Torres. “And women who have gone through menopause have very little estrogen. For the lady parts, estrogen is crucial in upkeeping the healthy, youthful appearance of vaginal and labial tissues as well as for the laxity of the vagina.”
But there’s one thing that doesn’t happen during menopause.
“Women do not ‘lose’ their clitorises,” says Dr. Torres. “The majority of the clitoris is located inside the body, but women recognize the ‘clitoral glans’ as the clitoris. This may become smaller with age, making it seem as though the clitoris has disappeared. But let me be clear: The clitoris never goes away.”
So your mom isn’t clitless. Her clit is down there somewhere. It’s just smaller and grayer than it used to be – just like your mom.
My husband and I both hit 40 this year. We are one of those straight couples that have been together since high school. We were kinky right from the start, became involved in the BDSM community in our 20s, and found ourselves in a poly relationship before we even knew that was an option. After years of struggling with polycystic ovary syndrome, I had a hysterectomy a couple of years ago, and I’ve had a hard time getting regulated with hormone replacement. There was a lot of extra bodily trauma with my surgery, and I’ve been trying to be patient in getting back into my sexual self, but it’s been a struggle. I’m mostly happy with other parts of my life, but I have no interest anymore in kink, especially D/s, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how I could go from being a pain slut to not even liking to have my hair pulled. I wouldn’t say that I’ve totally lost interest in sex, but I don’t have the driving need for it that I used to. I haven’t had luck talking to my ob-gyns. If I’m not having hot flashes, in their opinion, I shouldn’t mess with it. My boyfriend has been supportive, but I’m having a hard time talking to my husband, since his girlfriend is menopause age and as much of a nympho as ever. He sees my lack of interest in sex as a lack of interest in him.
Too Young To Be Old
“Society makes talking about sex taboo, and that taboo can invade the clinic room and adversely affect the doctor-patient relationship,” says Dr. Torres.
Dr. Torres is a professional and she’s being polite. Allow me to translate: The doctor is saying that your current ob-gyns suck santorum-smeared donkey balls. If your docs are unwilling to discuss and prioritize your sex life – and your sexual fulfillment and your sexual relationships – you need to get new ob-gyns.
“If a patient comes to me with changes in sexual function that concern her and she wants addressed,” Dr. Torres continues, “it is the same as if she came to me with ‘it hurts right here, doc.’ It is something that needs investigating. Having a hysterectomy often includes removing the ovaries, which is equivalent to inducing menopause. No ovaries = no estrogen = menopause. Even if you still have your ovaries, their function may be affected by a hysterectomy. This can affect the libido or it may have no effect whatsoever. Everyone is different. Also, after major surgery, particularly after a difficult and prolonged recovery, people may not enjoy sex the same way they used to for a variety of reasons. For this woman, pain may now be associated with the struggle to recover as opposed to what it used to be associated with: orgasm.”
So what does the doctor recommend?
“There are options other than female hormone replacement therapy for treating hypoactive sexual desire,” says Dr. Torres, “and it may be a good idea to consult a specialist in sexual health.”
Dr. Torres regularly posts about women’s health issues @LeahNTorres. She also blogs at Leahtorres.com.
This week on the Savage Lovecast, Dan chats with Mollena Williams (aka the Perverted Negress) about meeting kinksters; find it at savagelovecast.com.
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