Let’s Talk Menopause: Sexual Function & Desire

menopause-loss-sex-driveAs a woman ages, there will come a point in their life where reproduction is no longer possible because menstruation periods come to a halt. For many women, this is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because menstruation stops and you no longer have to bear through the inevitable pains that occur or worry about becoming pregnant. A curse because there are often many undesired effects or symptoms as a result of menopause.

Loss of Sex Drive from Menopause

First off, let’s establish exactly what symptoms women experience during menopause:

• Night sweats
• Hot flashes
• Unexplained weight gain
• Moodiness
• Fatigue

Just those symptoms alone may result in a decreased drive to have sex. Now, what if the vagina wasn’t being properly lubricated, or suffers atrophy, or the vaginal wall thins or becomes inflamed? These symptoms occur is up to 45% of women post menopause, or after menopause.

You guessed it; the desire for sex will now be even lower. This is because libido is all about energy. The symptoms above all lead to one thing: less energy. This physical and emotional toll that occurs depletes a woman of her energy and inevitably sex will be the last thing on her mind.

Lower Estrogen Levels Are to Blame

What happens during menopause is the estrogen that is naturally produced in the body is no longer being produced as much. This hormone change results in all the symptoms listed above. The symptoms above unfortunately lead to a huge decrease in sex drive. A decreased sex drive could result in tension between you and your spouse or partner.

Managing Your Decreased Sex Drive

Focus on Intimacy

Spend more time cuddling with each other or enjoying each other’s company without engaging in sexual activity. You will appreciate each other more and this could boost your sex drive.

Seek Out Professional Help

If you and your partner feels affected by your newly decreased libido, then you should consult your OBGYN who will work with you to resolve the issue. And often times all that is needed is lubrication. But other options such as hormone therapy involving restoring estrogen levels may be the solution.

Dr. Torbati offers treatment for postmenopausal loss of sex drive at his OB-GYN private practice located in Tarzana, CA.