Sex & Menopause

During transition through the menopause sex can sometimes be the last thing on some women’s minds. For others they say that menopause has in fact raised their libido, especially for those who are happy to be free of the worry of using contraception.
Vaginal dryness, tiredness, hot flushes, lowered self esteem and low libido are just some of the reasons why women lose interest in sex. As one women told us “Why would I want someone else’s hot body on top of me when I can’t cope with my own heat!’

Through the peer support groups and educational workshops we run, sex comes up again and again. On our educational workshops we are happy to have Cabby Laffy, (Director of The Centre for Psychosexual Health & author of Love Sex), as part of our team. We also partner up with SH! Women’s Sex Emporium to give women the opportunity to explore being in a sex shop and to get the chance to ask some of those questions that might otherwise be left unanswered. SH! were the first women’s sex shop to be established in the UK in 1992 and their mission is to inspire every woman to embrace her true sexual self. They really are a female positive space, welcoming of all women and have recently been doing sex education sessions in schools. Renee and her team have a great way of putting women at ease.

So, if you have missed the opportunity to join us on one of our trips to SH! Or want to come again here is the info below. We will be exploring women’s sexuality and arousal in the context of menopause :

Visit to SH! Women’s Sex Emporium

Sh_wDate: 22.6.17
Time 6.30pm
Address: 57 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PB.
Nearest Tube Old St or Liverpool St
Bus Routes: 26, 35, 55, 67, 149, 242, 243

If you would rather come along as part of a group meet us outside the Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT, between 6-6.15pm.

Please let us know if you will be joining us by emailing menopause@handsinc.co.uk

Is 20 too Young to Learn about the Menopause?

Personally I had never thought about menopause at all, after all I just turned twenty! So how does a twenty year old end up going to a menopause session exactly? Well, I am actually studying abroad and as part of  this experience I have to do a service learning placement, and I luckily happened to be placed with Hands Inc.

So back to the story, I did not know what to expect when I arrived at the location, but I was open and determined to learn as much as possible. So on that Monday I went to observe the Hands Inc menopause project. I had noticed last December that my mother was having symptoms of the menopause. She never told me exactly what they were but I noticed the insomnia and  what I now  know as is called hot flushes.

During the session I was able to interact with the women who are currently experiencing menopause. During the session there were many questions and gaps in knowledge about what was happening to them during this part of their lives. I learnt just how little information even the woman who were going through  the menopause, knew.  I found this shocking, but not surprising as it is a taboo subject in our society .

I mean think about it, I don’t even think that menopause was once mentioned in my biology books, which is crazy because it is a criteria that should fall under biology! The women were able to share some of their symptoms which all range from insomnia to hot flushes, and dizziness. They were able to openly speak about some of the remedies they use to cope with their symptoms. Some such as tea, meditation, and just the mere fact of acknowledging that menopause was taking place in their body.

One of the activities the instructor had the ladies do was recounting their most pivotal and important changes that had occurred to their body. They all mostly started with their menstruation, then the birth or loss of children, then some also spoke of diseases they had acquired or other strains their body had encountered in their lives. But finally reaching the point of menopause. The instructor told me that this portion might be emotional due to the nature of the women actually putting into perspective their whole life and the reality that the odds that they will be able to conceive a child are very slim, as they were at the end of their fertility cycle. It was a very emotional activity but a very important one as it does make them think and put many aspects of their life before them. The instructor was correct, there were some women who realised that the possibility of becoming a mother was not likely to happen. Some who realised just how much strain their body had endured after giving birth. It was interesting to see just how these women, although going through different things, were in the same stage of their life. There was something so nostalgic and inspiring all at once.

I also noticed something that I had never really given much thought to before. Women were sharing how they had previously perceived menopause as negative  because society is consistently telling  and showing them that youth is what is appealing and not the older women. Through the sessions they were learning to accept this stage in their life and embrace the lack of a menstrual flow and being able to have sex at any time of the month without worrying about conceiving.

This experience put many things into perspective but the most pivotal was the need for more sessions like these in which woman are communicating about this. Also bringing awareness to this important subject, as every woman will go through this sooner or later. I always say it is better to know than to go into something blind.

By,  Jacqueline Beltran- Hands Inc. Intern

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A Partner’s Guide to Menopause

Women may be the ones that go through “the change” however partners are the ones that are there for support. Very often they known very little about what their partner is going through, and how they can help, or if they can help. This lack of knowledge places strain on the relationship.  This post will help all the partners out there understand what their significant other is going through, and how they can help.

Continue reading A Partner’s Guide to Menopause