Starting during perimenopause, the years running up to menopause, you’ll experience a huge number of emotional and physical changes. (1)
Since everyone has a slightly different journey along this section of life, it’s a case of seeing how you’ll personally be affected by your ovaries shutting up shop and the end of your reproductive cycle.
Alongside the usual hot flashes and mood swings, many women encounter a degree of libido loss. Menopause symptoms vary from person to person so it’s no guarantee you will lose any of your passion in the bedroom. Indeed, some women find being free of any concerns about pregnancy helps them feel more enthusiastic about sex rather than less. (2)
We’ll look today at how menopause influences your sex drive along with some handy hints to fight back if you find your libido flagging.
Menopause and Your Sex Drive
When you’re menopausal or postmenopausal, you might find more difficulty in getting aroused.
Perhaps you no longer feel such tingling and butterflies when your partner strokes you.
As these changes happen, it often perpetuates a vicious cycle where you want less and less sex leading to a possible strain on your relationship.
Perhaps you’ll be lucky and find you are not affected in this area but why does this dip in sexual desire crop up during menopause anyway?
How Hormones Affect Your Sex Drive
The driving reason behind this menopausal change in sex drive is primarily hormonal. (3)
As levels of estrogen and testosterone start to plummet, initial arousal is often more prolonged.
Vaginal dryness due to diminished estrogen is one of the most common menopause symptoms that can make intercourse so painful you’d sooner beg off with a headache. With less blood in the vagina leading to dryness and, in the worst scenario, vaginal atrophy which can also make sex highly uncomfortable. (4) (5)
Fortunately, there are some simple ways in which you can hit back if you stumble up against a dip in desire but before we look into that, is it just hormones than can wreak havoc on your desire?
Other Factors That Can Impact Sex Drive
Although the underpinning biological reason for a reduced sex drive is hormonal, there are also some other key areas sometimes responsible for changes in your libido.
These are generally related to the other commonplace menopause symptoms and, like so much during the change, it seems to be a domino effect with one annoying incident leading to another area of your life worsening.
Here are some of the other salient factors that influence your libido… (6)
- Poor sleep leading to general fatigue and grouchiness
- Spiralling stress levels affecting your mood across the board
- Problems with bladder control leading to embarrassment
- The side-effects of any medication you’re taking
- Anxiety and depression brought about by menopause
- Weight gain can occur making you feel awkward
- General unease that can come as a natural part of ageing and feeling less desirable
The first goal of today’s article is to make one thing clear…
If you are experiencing libido loss during menopause, it’s natural and not your fault.
The fact that millions of other women are undergoing the same frustrating changes might not initially seem like much consolation but there’s some good news…
Because this issue affects so many, there’s no shortage of strategies you can use to restore that all-important passion factor.
We’ll outline 5 ways you can improve your love life during the change so you can carry on as normally as possible even if you’re bombarded by those infuriating hot flashes…
- Use a Lubricant: Since vaginal dryness can make sex feel sharply painful, it makes sense to use a lubricant to give nature a helping hand. This is the first and most obvious way to push back against those pesky hormones.
- Focus on Foreplay: Rather than rushing to the main event, take your time to restore intimacy with prolonged and passionate bouts of foreplay. If you’re stuck for ideas, there’s a wealth of resources online to help stimulate your imagination. Then your body will take over and do the rest when it’s properly warmed up.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: HRT will restore the balance of estrogen which will directly help with any vaginal dryness. You shouldn’t decide to undertake hormone therapy purely to deal with sex drive though and it’s essential to be aware of the risks. Consult in detail with your doctor before opting for this approach to lessening menopause symptoms. (7)
- Ramp Up The Exercise: Exercising has the combined advantages of helping you stave off weight gain while also improving your mood. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though, and stay within your personal limits.
- More General Lifestyle Changes: Whether it’s getting more sleep or dealing with stress more effectively if you isolate the root causes for your drop in sex drive, you can attack those areas head-on with some simple, natural lifestyle changes.
We hope you feel more at ease now if you’re feeling less than frisky during menopause.
Take action by following the simple steps above and consulting your doctor, and there’s no reason not to continue slipping between the sheets just like you always did.
Vergo is an interactive program that gives women the tools to understand their Menopause.
- The Vergo iOS symptom tracker (emailable to your healthcare provider)
- The Vergo QuikTrak symptom tracker (the refillable pdf version, also emailable)
- Vergo’s Interactive Education Program, Journey Without a Roadmap: Understanding Menopause
- Curated guides to the biggest questions and hottest topics around menopause symptoms and treatment options
- Must-have information on male menopause: There’s an Andropause? (an overview of what your guy could be going through)
- Terminology Cheat Sheets
Click the button below for more information!