Loss of libido is one of the symptoms that are not only troubling for the menopausal women but can also adversely affect the life of their male partners. According to latest estimates, more than 20 to 40% females report significant changes in their sex drive during menopause.
Low libido is marked by characteristic emotional symptoms such as:
- Lack of interest in engaging in sexual encounters
- Lack of sexual arousal despite adequate physical and emotional stimulation
- Low sexual desires/ fantasies
Low sex drive due to menopause is almost always associated with physical symptoms; such as:
- Thinning of vaginal walls (also known as atrophic vaginitis)
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful penetration and uncomfortable sexual intercourse (also known as dyspareunia)
- Inability to achieve orgasm or pleasure during intercourse
- Hot flashes
Loss of Libido and Menopause – what is the connection?
Sexual interest is largely mediated by sex hormones (especially estrogen in addition to androgens and testosterone).
The key functions of estrogen in the maintenance of sex drive are:
- Increasing the sensitivity of vaginal walls to sexual stimulation
- Facilitating the release of vaginal secretion to maintain adequate lubrication for a painless and friction-free intercourse.
- Maintaining the health of the lining of vaginal walls
- Maintaining high energy levels and vigor to engage in sexual encounters
It is imperative to understand that the menopausal libido disorder (also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder) is mainly hormonal; however, several physical factors can also contribute to the pathogenesis. For example; major life-changing events, relationship conflicts, low self-esteem, uncontrolled medical/ metabolic illnesses (such as diabetes, hypertension), use of certain medications (especially anti-hypertensive agents and anti-psychotics) that are strongly associated with vaginal dryness and other similar factors.
How do you get your mid-20s sex drive back?
It is quite frustrating for an average menopausal female to understand how to manage a healthy sexual relationship with her partner with very poor sex drive. Here are a few tips to regain your libido:
- Maintain your health: Co-existing health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or psychiatric conditions (such as depression, mood disorders and anxiety disorders) are strongly associated with low sex drive (even in pre-menopausal women). If you are suffering from a chronic condition, seek help from your primary care provider.
- Perform simple daily exercises: Exercises like yoga, meditation and breathing training helps in revitalizing tissues and restoring optimal health and stamina. Additionally, research suggests that exercises like Kegal’s training can also help in improving the strength of pelvic musculature for optimal sexual activity.
- Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy: Proper use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy/ estrogen) can also help in improving vaginal dryness by restoring normal vaginal epithelium. Additionally, if you are experiencing other symptoms of menopause, you can always opt for a multi-hormonal regimen for a healthy and functional menopausal life.
Additionally, it is also very important to maintain open communication with the partner. Try to show intimacy and affection outside of bedroom and explore different aspects of your relationship.
Ready to learn more? Download the free ebook: HOT and BOTHERED: The Essential 9-Step Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Menopause
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