Women go through a lot of changes during menopause. Among things like hot flashes and mood swings, women may notice significant changes to their libido – sex drive. While some women experience increased libido, others have a decreased sex drive.
Without the worry of having a menstrual cycle or becoming pregnant, you’d think your postmenopausal sex life would be better than ever, right? According to the director of clinical services at the Sex and Gender Clinic at Johns Hopkins Medicine, “This is also a stage of life with a lot of changes that can affect your intimacy.”
It is not true in every instance, but the libido decrease correlates with the decreased hormone levels due to menopause. Vaginal dryness and tightness – both of which cause pain during sexual intercourse – are symptoms of decreased estrogen. Menopause symptoms can make you less interested in sex with your partner, including:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
There are a few lifestyle changes to implement that can be used to help boost a sexual drive during menopause. If at-home changes do not help, there are ways your doctor can help you find a treatment suitable for you and your partner.
Things that Affect Sexual Drive During Menopause
Certain hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone, decline during menopause. This decline begins during perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause. This decease can lower desire and even make it harder to become physically aroused.
Menopause can also cause vaginal canal dryness. The drop in estrogen leads to a lack of blood supply in the vagina, which can negatively impact vaginal lubrication. Dryness can make sex painful and uncomfortable.
It can also make the vaginal canal less stretchy and you may experience dryness, which can cause intercourse to be painful. With a lack of vaginal lubrication, this vaginal wall can start to thin. This is known as vaginal atrophy.
In fact, over 30% of women in menopause report having sexual challenges including lack of sexual interest to difficulties having an orgasm.
Other changes during menopause may negatively affect your libido. Symptoms like weight gain can cause insecurities that are detrimental to a woman’s confidence affecting her sex drive. Hot flashes and night sweats are very common symptoms that can make a woman feeling too tired for sex. Similarly, mood symptoms like depression and irritability can be a turn-off.
The more a woman ages, the more likely they will experience age-related health issues like physical pain, chronic illness, wear-and-tear injuries, and other conditions that drain her energy – all of which can affect her sex drive.
Maintaining Libido During Menopause
Here are some ways to positively impact your sex drive and increase your libido:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Treating underlying hormone changes with HRT and an estrogen pill can help reduce vaginal dryness and atrophy.
- Lubricant – If dryness is affecting your libido or causing pain during sex, a vaginal lubricant can help make things more comfortable for you.
- Communication – Even though your sexual desire is affected by physical changes, being open and feeling more connected with your partner can help you get in the mood. Be honest about your relationship, what you’re going through, and how they can support you both mentally and physically.
- Focus on your Overall Health – Keeping your body healthy overall and can help with your mental and emotional health. Regular exercise, regular sleep habits, and a balanced diet can help increase self-confidence that can increase a sex drive.
If you are dealing with difficulties due to a lack of sexual drive and loss of libido during menopause, know you are not alone, and that there are treatments and methods to help regain the desire and want for sex. CleopatraRX works with women entering and going through menopause to make the most of their lives.
Click the link below to learn more and schedule your online consultation.