Effect of Menopause on Sex Drive
Marriage Relationship
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Marriage Relationship
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Menopause and Libido: Decreased Sex Drive

Women will experience menopause at various times in their lives. Sexual problems are common in postmenopausal women. The effect of menopause can be a reduced sex drive.

Also, read- Female Sexual Dysfunction 101: Know Yourself Best!

The Connection between Menopause and Reduced Libido

The loss of testosterone and estrogen after menopause can cause changes in a woman’s body and libido. But first things first-

What is Menopause?

Menopause refers to a woman not having her period anymore. Menopause has more effect on a woman than just the menstrual cycle. Some symptoms associated with menopause are: 

  • Anxiety
  • Bladder control problems
  • Depression 
  • Weight gain/ weight loss 
  • Thinning of hair 
  • Difficulty in sleeping 
  • Decreased libido

But not all women need to experience a reduced sex drive. Some postmenopausal women have felt they have got an improved sexual drive. That can be attributed to less anxiety or fear linked with pregnancy, which results in them relaxing and enjoying intimacy and sexual intercourse with their partners.

Vaginal Dryness during Menopause:

Additionally, a decrease in estrogen levels can lead to a drop in blood supply to the vagina. That can change vaginal lubrication, inducing the vagina to be dry, resulting in painful sex. However, one can use water-soluble lubricants as a treatment. 

You and your partner should keep using condoms unless your doctor confirms that you are no longer ovulating. Also, condoms are the safest way to prevent STDs. So, it’s advisable to keep using condoms while having sex. 

Why does menopause affect libido?

Due to reduced blood flow to the vagina, the tissues of the vagina and labia become thinner making them less sensitive to sexual arousal. Also, due to vaginal dryness, sex can be uncomfortable, painful and less enjoyable. You may have difficulty achieving orgasm. 

Fluctuating hormone levels affect a woman’s mental health, reducing libido. Struggles at the job, parenting or familial responsibilities can add to her stress level. You may experience irritation and depression, and dealing with routine matters may seem difficult. 

Besides these symptoms, hot flashes, anxiety, sleeping troubles, fatigue, etc. also affect her sexual drive. 

Some other factors having said to reduce a woman’s libido during menopause are: 

  1. Chronic health disease- diabetes, depression, heart disease, etc. 
  2. History of smoking
  3. Low levels of physical activity 
  4. Unhealthy lifestyle 

Tips for improving libido during menopause

Medical treatments: 

People experiencing vaginal dryness or thinning of tissues can consider undergoing estrogen therapy. As mentioned earlier, they can also use water-soluble lubricants to treat vaginal dryness. 

They can directly apply prescription estrogen to the vagina. Or they can take estrogen pills that contain a higher level of hormones. However, this treatment comes with a lot of risks, though they help in reducing the symptoms like anxiety, mood changes, and hot flashes. 

People thinking about using hormone replacement therapy should consult with their doctor about all the pros and cons of it. 

Changes in Lifestyle:

Water-soluble lubricants to treat vaginal dryness and increasing sexual stimulation can benefit women. 

In addition to this, women should consider at least 30-minute exercise or physical activity to keep themselves active. Quitting smoking altogether and avoiding alcohol adds to better health and lifestyle. 

Besides these, a healthy balanced diet will enhance the individual’s overall well-being. 

Sexual Intimacy with a partner: 

One can foster intimacy with their partner in several ways other than just sexual intercourse. Before we get to those ways, please know that the more openly you talk about your reduced libido, the more ways you can figure it out together. It’s no disease; you don’t become disinterested in your partner just because you don’t feel like having sex. Talk, talk, and talk. Help your partner understand and be open about what works in bed for you. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can enhance your intimacy with your partner: 

  • Engage in extended periods of foreplay; take time in exploring each other’s bodies and giving each other the pleasure of intimate touch. Engage in sexual activity without the goal of orgasm. 
  • Spend time together by doing either basic or special activities together. For example, you can pick a movie that you both enjoy watching, listen to songs, exercise, or play a game together. You can include a weekend getaway once a month in your schedule or plan some dates together. 
  • Make use of sex toys, vibrators, etc., to enhance intimate pleasure. 
  • You can also consider experimenting with erotic videos, stories, and masturbation. 

Also, read- Female Masturbation 101: Life is short, Touch yourself!

STDs during Menopause

You can still get STDs from unprotected sexual intercourse during menopause. STIs and STDs can happen any time during your life when you are sexually active. So, you can keep using condoms to prevent any STDs.