Does Menopause Affect Your Libido?

Does Menopause Affect Your Libido?

Menopause affects your libido or desire for sex changes as you go through the transition. Even though not all women experience a decrease in libido, this a common menopause symptom. 

The low levels of female sex hormones usually result in vaginal dryness that may result in discomfort during sex. Also, women may not be adequately aroused to enjoy intimacy and sex. Apart from the hormonal decrease, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and other symptoms of menopause may also result in decreased libido. 

If you are losing interest in sex because of menopause, this write-up up is just for you! Read on to know how menopause affects your sexual life. 

Why Menopause Affects Your Sexual Life?

 As you age, the normal levels of female sex hormones, such as estrogens and testosterone fall and result in many changes in your body, including low sexual drive. Women going through menopause often experience vaginal dryness due to the decreased levels of female sex hormones. Reduced hormones result in reduced blood supply to the vagina and thereby make it dry. 

A fall in estrogen can also result in Vaginal Atrophy, a condition where your vaginal walls become thin, dry and inflamed and lead to discomfort during sex. Vaginal atrophy negatively impacts the overall quality of your sex life, and you may not get easily aroused, or stay as sensitive to touch and caress.

Some women may find it hard to accept their weight gain and lose interest in sex. Further, the following factors may affect your sexual desires during menopause: 

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritation
  • Mood swings
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Bladder control problems
  • Medications
  • Health concerns

How Can I Get Back My Sex Drive During Menopause?

You can improve your sex drive during menopause by using one of the following methods:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – in this treatment, the depleting hormones are replaced with synthetic hormones that act like oestrogens and reduce vaginal dryness along with other menopausal symptoms. Your doctor may also suggest oestrogen pills to lessen vaginal atrophy and dryness. However, HRT is not a long term solution for menopause. It has some health concerns, such as breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, blood clots and others. Also, HRT is not recommended for all cases due to health concerns. So, discuss all the issues before choosing a treatment.

Vaginal moisturisers and lubricants – these lubricants are easy to use and moisturise your dry vagina and avoid any pain and discomfort you may experience during sex. Your doctor may suggest oestrogen pills, creams, patches, tablets, sprays or ring to be placed inside your vagina. The smaller levels of oestrogen present in these lubricants treat the dry vagina and keep it moisturised. These oestrogen lubricants also keep the vaginal lining healthy, thick and elastic. 

Over the Counter (OTC) medication – certain oral drugs are available that can thicken the vaginal tissues and reduce the pain during sex. However, not all drugs are safe to use. Therefore, consult with your gynaecologist before using any OTC medicine. According to the WebMD website, FDA warns against OTC drugs, such as Osphena to lessen pain during sexual intercourse because it can thicken the uterus lining and increase the risk of blood clots and stroke.

Non-hormonal supplements – you can also take non-hormonal dietary supplements, such as Femarelle to alleviate the dryness and pain. These menopause supplements are made with natural ingredients, such as flaxseeds, soy products, vitamins and calcium. Isoflavones found in soy products act like natural oestrogens and reduce the menopause affects on daily life. Dietary supplements not only improve your vaginal health but also enhance bone health, increase bone mass density, and strengthen skeletal structure. These are the safest supplements to diminish menopause affects and improve overall health and life. 

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Libido

You can also make a few changes to your regular life to improve libido. 
  • Stop smoking tobacco.
  • Stop or limit alcohol consumption.
  • Start working out regularly. 
  • Maintain an ideal weight.
  • Eat more vegetables, greens and fruits.
  • Talk to your partner.
  • Try alternative therapies, such as yoga and meditation to improve your mood.
  • Do pelvic strengthening exercises, such as kegel.
  • Go for therapy sessions alone or with your partner.

Do you remember your sexual urges peak before and after ovulation? Yes. That is because your ovaries were making enough oestrogens and releasing enough eggs for conception. However, with age, the production of female sex hormones reduces and results in menopausal symptoms. Fewer hormones mean less blood flow to your vagina and more dryness and more discomfort. So, talk to your doctor at the earliest, take recommended medication to improve oestrogens in the body or and reduce menopause affects on your libido. 

If you are not sure of the best medication for your case, take non-hormonal supplements.