128 Growing Older
➤ There is no reason
based on age alone
that a woman cannot
enjoy sex for as long
as she lives.
sexual pleasure, 186
the vagina, 265
infections of the urine
➤ Do not use
petroleum gel or
oils that contain
perfumes to increase
wetness in the vagina.
These can cause
For some women, menopause means freedom from the
sexual demands of marriage. Other women become more
interested in sex because they no
longer fear an unwanted pregnancy.
All women, though, continue to
need love and affection.
As a woman grows older, some
of the changes in her body may
affect her sexual relations:
• She may take longer to
become excited during sex
(this also happens to men).
• Her vagina may be more dry, which can make sex
uncomfortable, or make her get an infection of the vagina
or the urine system more easily. This may also increase her
risk of HIV infection.
What to do:
• Try to take more time before having sex, so your vagina can
make its natural wetness. You can also use spit (saliva), oils
made from vegetables (corn oil, olive oil), or other lubricants
like K-Y jelly during sex.
IMPORTANT Do not use oils for wetness if you are using
condoms. Oil will weaken the condom and it may break.
• If it is difficult for your partner to get his penis hard (erection),
be patient. Touching him may help.
• Do not try to make the vagina dry before having sex. To
prevent urine problems, pass urine as soon as possible after
sex to flush out germs.
Protecting yourself against pregnancy and
sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
You can still become pregnant until your monthly bleeding has stopped for one
full year. To prevent unwanted pregnancy, you should continue to use a family
planning method during that time (see page 197).
If you are using a hormonal method of family planning (the pill, injections, or
implants), stop using it around the age of 50 to see if you are still having monthly
bleeding. Use another method of family planning until you have no monthly
bleeding for one whole year (12 months).
Unless you are certain neither you nor your partner
has an STI, including HIV, be sure to use a condom each
time you have sex—even if you can no longer become
pregnant (see page 189).
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012