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Menopause & Living a Healthy Sex Lifestyle

Having sex comes with a variety of health benefits, including boosting your immune system, reducing your risk of heart attack, easing stress, and even bolstering your brain health. Now, a new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science has revealed another perk: having more sex can also delay menopause.

Researchers at University College London analyzed a decade's worth of data on almost 3,000 women in their 40s and 50s in the United States. They found that those who had sex on a weekly basis were 28 percent less likely to experience menopause than those who had sex less than once a month. And those who had sex monthly were still 19 percent less likely to experience menopause compared to those who had sex less often than that. (Within the study, sexual activity was defined as sexual intercourse, oral sex, sexual caressing, or masturbation.)

The researchers theorize that the reason for this link may be that if a woman isn't having sex, the body could stop investing energy into ovulation, leading to menopause.

"The findings of our study suggest that if a woman is not having sex, and there is no chance of pregnancy, then the body 'chooses' not to invest in ovulation, as it would be pointless," Megan Arnot, a PhD candidate in anthropology at University College London and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

"The menopause is, of course, an inevitability for women, and there is no behavioral intervention that will prevent reproductive cessation," Ruth Mace, professor of evolutionary anthropology at University College London, said in a statement. "Nonetheless, these results are an initial indication that menopause timing may be adaptive in response to the likelihood of becoming pregnant."

Of course, reproduction isn't the only reason to have sex, which, for the record, you can continue having well after you go through menopause. In fact, recent research has shown that people over 65 might be having the best sex of all! For more on this, check out: New Survey Says Seniors Are More Sexually Satisfied Than Younger Adults.


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Dealing With Menopause

Menopause can affect women in a variety of ways. The effects of menopause can be felt suddenly or felt gradually over time. The body is going through changes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to help your body adjust. Some changes that can occur are changes to your menstrual cycle, hot flashes, sleep, mood, sex, vaginal health, and bladder control.

Depending on what symptoms you are experiencing and what phase you are in, menopause may affect what treatment options would work best for you. If you feel you are experiencing menopausal changes, it is recommended that you first be evaluated by your primary care physician and/or gynecologist to assess your current state. Your physician can evaluate and assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan or refer you to a Women’s Health Pelvic Health Physical Therapist, who will provide a more in-depth evaluation of pelvic health-related symptoms in order to improve vaginal health and bladder control.

Some treatments that may be available and appropriate to you are:

- vaginal estrogen (creams/suppositories): to assist with vaginal atrophy and dryness.
- lubricants/vaginal moisturizers: reduce friction; improve vaginal moisture.
- dilator therapy: desensitize soft tissues, enhance myofascial mobility of pelvic floor muscles.
- strengthening program: improve strength, coordination, and control of muscles to improve bladder control.

Menopause and Turmeric

TURMERIC SPICE: your menopause superfood. This bright orange spice has reached peak 'superfood' status with numerous studies showing that its active compound, curcumin, contains some powerful anti-inflammatory effects. ... This means that the liver can clear out old hormones, alleviating many menopause symptoms.

Recently turmeric has been hailed as a superfood and has shown to have many different benefits. Turmeric is part of the ginger family and is often used as a powder, especially in Indian and Asian cooking. Turmeric is a phytoestrogen, a plant source of estrogen, which may help symptoms of menopause. It is a natural antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.