Menopause libido issues affect many menopausal women. Vaginal dryness, night sweats, stress incontinence, and low libido are some common physical symptoms that affect your sexual experience during menopause.
It's difficult to judge what the effect menopause has on sexual interest and sexual behavior. Sexual behavior appears to be relatively independent of natural estrogen levels.
From most of the sexual problems studied there doesn't appear to be any correlation between estrogen levels and sexual interest.
Menopause solutions for improved sexual performance and desire
One study of sexual behavior in sixteen women over the course of their menopause found small but significant decreases in sexual activity, sexual thoughts, and vaginal lubrication, but not in frequency of orgasms or in sexual enjoyment (1).
Not everyone that experiences lessening of sexual desire consider it a problem. Rather than menopause, the menopause symptoms can sometimes contribute to sexual problems such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and night sweats.
Surgical menopause is induced menopause that results from surgical removal of both of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) for medical reasons. Surgical menopause may effect sexual desire and attractiveness.
Hysterectomy and menopause
When a woman has a hysterectomy and the uterus is removed with the ovaries remain, menstrual periods stop but other menopausal symptoms (if any) usually occur at the same age that they would naturally. However, some women who have a hysterectomy may experience menopausal symptoms at a younger age.
After a hysterectomy, whether or not the ovaries have been removed, a woman can lose interest in sex. To some degree, men may not find her as attractive as they did before. This is because vaginal secretions contain aromas that are sexually stimulating. After a hysterectomy, these aromas are no longer being produced.
Menopause is a major change
In most women, menopause creates a feeling of being a new person with new ways of being sexual and intimate.
Some women feel more free to have sex because they don't have to worry about birth control. Other women feel less driven by their hormones to have sex.
The important thing about solving your menopause libido issues is to become comfortable with yourself and your libido.
Libido and lifestyle changes
The libido can be affected by many possible factors and it can be difficult to determine exactly what is going on. Many women say, "I love sex and had a healthy sexual appetite, but after menopause it just disappeared and I feel as if part of me is dead."
This is the usual response by women that have their ovaries removed. This reaction may be the result of many psychological factors.
If you're having trouble with a severe decrease in libido, it can be helpful to see a sexual counselor who can give you exercises to increase the intimacy in your relationship.
Supplements for libido
The following are menopause libido solutions to help build your sexual appetite.
DHEA is a hormone made by the adrenal glands and converted into testosterone.
DHEA declines with age in both men and women. Side effects of supplementing DHEA include acne, increased body hair, and greasy skin. DHEA has also been reported to increase heart disease and it's safety regarding breast cancer are unknown.
Arginine has been reported to increase sexual relationships and intercourse.
Testosterone has been suggested to treat women with decreased libido. There aren't any good studies on the safety of supplementing testosterone for women.
In some women, testosterone can improve libido and make them feel wonderful. In other women, supplementing testosterone can cause serious side effects. If you decide to take testosterone to increase your libido, you need to know that very little research has been done on it and you may be risking serious side effects in the future.
1) McCoy, N., and Davidson, J.M. "A longitudinal study of the effects of menopause on sexuality." Maturitas 1985; 7 (3): 203 - 210.
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