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Does A Woman Lose Her Libido After Menopause

Libido And The Psyche

Sex Drive and Menopause

Physiologic problems must always be treated despite presence of psychiatric illness, because these two factors can have an indistinguishably intertwined impact on libido and coital activity. Dyspareunia-related decrease in frequency of coitus can be the primary cause of marital problems and can present as a marital problem when in fact physiologic problems of menopause are the cause of the change in libido. Lack of libido due to low testosterone levels can induce the same type of marital conflict, a circumstance that can in turn mislead physicians into diagnosing a psychological problem as the cause of the lack of libido.

For depression or anxiety disorders to be the cause of decrease in libido, onset of the psychiatric illness must be established and correlated with the onset of sexual symptoms. Depression and anxiety in women may directly affect libido and sexual response through loss of desire and also may affect the womans sexual partner in that he stops initiating sexual relations. Libido can be affected by marital stress as well as by accumulated anger between the couple. Both these factors should be taken into account when evaluating decrease in libido. However, the chronicity of the coital problem and of the libidinal problem is a critical aspect of determining the cause of decreasing libido and frequency of coitus.

Boosting Your Sex Drive With Lifestyle Changes

Remember that it is normal to want different things at different points in your life, and this includes sex. If having a lower libido does not bother you than it is not a problem. However, if your lower libido is a problem for you, than the solution to fix it depend on what is causing it. Common solutions to boost a low libido include:

Postmenopause And Libido Loss

Painful postmenopausal sex doesnt have to be a part of getting older. However, women do need to realize that the biologic purpose of the sex drive is to procreate, and once one is done having babies, it is natural for the sex drive to wane as well. But that doesnt mean you have to give up hope. There are ways to help bring your libido back during menopause. For instance, hormone therapy is one of the best ways for most women to boost their libido, especially if their ovaries were removed.

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Myth: Theres No Way To Spice Up Your Sex Life After Menopause

The facts: Many women find menopause the perfect time to try new ways of expressing their sensuality and sexuality with a loving, trusted partner. All those years youve spent learning and growing as a woman can give you the courage to ask for the touch you enjoy or explore a sexual position youve always fantasized about.

As your children get older and spend more time away from the nest, you may even find it enjoyable to have sex in the dining room, in front of the fireplace in the living room, or on that cozy backyard porch swing. When your kids are out, just being able to leave the bedroom door open for a change may add the right amount of spice to your sex life.

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Love Yourself And Let Go Of Resentment


One of my research findings about women in midlife with vibrant sex lives is that they are comfortable and familiar with their body. They know what they like and dont like when it comes to sex. If you haven’t yet, perimenopause is an ideal time in your life to get to know your bodyor even get to know it better.

I’ve found that resentment is the top libido crusher for those who identify as women, so forgiveness and restoring our relationships is key for a healthy, satisfying sex life later in life. Journaling and meditation can help with this process.

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Aiding Arousal And Orgasm

Both arousal and orgasm depend on a complex array of psychological and physical factors. Issues that reduce libido can also affect arousal and orgasm. In addition, when blood flow to the genitals and pelvis is diminished or nerves are damaged, it can be difficult to achieve either. Identifying and addressing lifestyle factors may increase your sexual response. These are the most common physical factors impeding arousal and orgasm:

Alcohol. Although a glass of wine might enhance your libido, heavy drinking can make it difficult to achieve orgasm.

Health conditions. Diseases that affect blood flow and nerve function, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis, can reduce sexual responsiveness.

Medication. Drugs to lower blood pressure can delay or prevent orgasm. Antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, can also impede orgasm.

Clinical trials have demonstrated that the following may be helpful in stimulating arousal and orgasm:

Zestra. A massage oil that creates a sensation of warmth throughout the genital area, Zestra increased desire, arousal, and satisfaction in 70% of the women enrolled in clinical trials required for FDA approval. It is available over the counter for around $10.

With All That Said You Can Still Have A Great Sex Life In Menopause

Pizarro and Brown-James both agree on this point. In fact, Dr. Pizarro says meno post-menopausal people have very active sex lives even without taking estrogen. Whats more, sexual satisfaction might increase once someones been through menopause.

There are a few reasons that might happen. The worry of being pregnant is no longer there, says Brown-James. Also, some people experience an increase in their sexual awareness of their bodies. Many women have not been taught to explore their bodies and have internalized ideas that the vulva or vagina are dirty or for someone elses pleasure, not theirs, she explains. A lot of times, if the knowledge that none of that is true hasnt taken root before, it gets dispelled at this point, and women realize their bodies are really for themselves. Bonus: That may also lead to more intense orgasms, says Brown-James.

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Sex Importance Rankings Vary Among Women Survey Suggests

For the largest group, about 45 percent of the women, sex did become less important to them as they went through their forties and fifties and early sixties, says Thomas. For 27 percent of the women, sex remained highly important to them throughout midlife, and for 28 percent of the women sex was not very important to them throughout the whole duration of midlife, from forties to sixties.

Its important to recognize not all women are going to follow the same pathway when it comes to sex at midlife, each woman has her own unique experience, says Thomas.

There were a few trends that Thomas and her team noticed.

These results show that its not necessarily true that sex becomes less important to all women at midlife and that its just an inevitable fact of aging, says Thomas.

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How Can I Improve My Sex Drive During And After Menopause

Do Women Gain Weight or Lose Their Sex Drives After a Hysterectomy? – Renee Cotter, MD – Gynecology

Estrogen replacement may work, but more research is needed. Estrogen can make sex less painful by treating vaginal dryness, though.

Doctors are also studying whether a combo of estrogen and male hormones called androgens may help boost sex drive in women.

Although sexual problems can be hard to discuss, talk to your doctor. There are options to consider, such as counseling. Your doctor may refer you and your partner to a health professional who specializes in sexual dysfunction. The therapist may advise sexual counseling on an individual basis, with your partner, or in a support group. This type of counseling can be very successful, even when it’s done on a short-term basis.

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When To See A Doctor

A woman should speak to her doctor whenever perimenopause or menopause is having a significant impact on her day-to-day activities, including sexual activity.

Sometimes, a doctor can recommend changes in health habits as well as discuss whether prescription medications may help relieve the symptoms, including a low libido.

Speaking with a doctor can also rule out any other underlying medical conditions that may cause a reduced libido. These conditions include urinary tract infections, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, or pelvic floor dysfunction.

Stress Anxiety And Mood

Feeling stressed or anxious, two common symptoms of menopause, is also not the best emotional state to be in to feel sexy. Low mood or mood swings can also cause relationship problems. If you’re getting annoyed and irritated with your partner, again, the last thing you’re going to be thinking about is having loving feelings towards them.

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Change Is Inevitable So Embrace It

As we enter into perimenopause and menopause, and especially if weve had children, our bodies and sexual anatomy change, and we have to accept those changes in order to move forward. What used to feel good sexually might not anymore, and thats okay. This is often the case with penetrative vaginal intercourse, especially in light of dryness and other physical changes, due to fluctuating hormones and aging.

So what does this mean for the future of your sex life? It means it might look different, but do know that different can mean better.

So what does this mean for the future of your sex life? It means it might look different, but do know that different can mean better. Consider reimagining how you define sex, and experiment with new sex toys, whether you’re in a partnered relationship or solo. Consider these changes as an exciting opportunity to get to know yourself and/or your partner again.

Testosterone Treatment For Low Libido In Women Is Missing

Female Arousal After Menopause Valentines Special

About 30 percent or so of women in the United States report low libido or sex drive, and about 10 percent report being bothered or distressed by it, Brooke Faught, doctor of nursing practice and board-certified women’s healthcare nurse practitioner, who is clinical director of the Womens Institute for Sexual Health in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Faught presented on sexual health, libido, and testosterone at the NAMS 2020 conference.

Having a low sex drive isnt automatically a reason for treatment hypoactive sexual desire disorder is when women have a low libido and are bothered or distressed by it. If the patient isnt directly impacted or bothered by it and its not impacting their daily function, its not a true diagnosable condition, says Faught.

Even when they are bothered by a lack of desire, many women put up with it rather than seek treatment they think its a normal part of aging or something they should just deal with, she says.

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Pregnancy Giving Birth Breastfeeding

Loss of interest in sex is common during pregnancy, after giving birth and while breastfeeding. This is caused by changes to hormone levels, by also by issues with body image in pregnant women, exhaustion and changed priorities, such as focusing on looking after a baby. All issues that should improve over time, both worth keeping under control in case they dont.

Its Best Not To Ignore Any Changes That Cause You Distress

You may cringe at the thought of talking to your gynecologist about sex. But rest assured, there is no reason to feel awkward. If you’re dealing with these changes and are very much unhappy with them, talk to your doctor. Right now, this may be a conversation that needs to take place via telehealth due to the pandemic. If you feel dismissed, then Dr. Rowen encourages you to consider switching to another provider if at all possible. Go find someone who will listen to you and take your problems seriously, Dr. Rowen says. Together, you can come up with a treatment plan that may help you have a more fulfilling sex life, even after menopause.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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Increased Sex Drive In Perimenopause

I understand that the desire for a lot of sex sounds like something crazy when were talking about perimenopause, but it does happen.

For some women, there is a slight shift upwards in testosterone, to the point that they want sex much more frequently than they have in the past. For me, this first started around ovulation. I wanted sex 10 times more than I ever had before, but only around ovulation.

Over time though, my libido grew to be a constant factor in my life. At the most intense point, I would wake up, have about three minutes of peace, and then begin thinking about and desiring sex until I went to sleep at the end of the day. It was exciting in many ways I really enjoyed thinking and feeling sexy things all day long but it was also exhausting.

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As I began to write on my blog, about this new level of libido at midlife, 100s of women emailed me with similar stories. So many were afraid something was wrong with them, or that they had a brain tumour .

Most of all, women described not having safe places to talk about these symptoms and be believed, a frustration shared by so many midlife women.

Getting Older And The Menopause


A reduced sex drive is not an inevitable part of ageing, but it’s something many men and women experience as they get older.

There can be many reasons for this, including:

  • lower levels of sex hormones just before, during and after the menopause in women
  • lower levels of sex hormone in men
  • age-related health problems, including mobility problems
  • side effects of medicine

Speak to a GP if you’re concerned about this. They may ask about any other symptoms you have, and sometimes they may arrange for a blood test to check your hormone levels.

There are treatments to increase hormone levels if low levels are causing problems, such as hormone replacement therapy with or without testosterone treatment for women going through the menopause.

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Sex And Menopause: Studies On Etiology Of Decreased Coitus

Sexual research on sexual functioning during the climacteric has been studied for 30 years. This research has approached the issue from different points of view, including biologic, psychiatric, anthropologic, and sociologic. The two main conclusions are that decreasing sexual activity in a woman results in part from decreasing sexual functioning of her male partner and in part from anatomic and physiologic changes associated with her menopause. The representative studies are summarized in . The large majority of these studies found a decrease in coitus and sexual interest of greater than 40% within a few years of the menopause.

Ner Problems Can Be Fixed

One of the worst nightmares for a woman in menopause is to have the freedom to have sex anywhere but to have a partner who cant perform anywhere, says Dr. Goldstein. Whatever the problempremature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low hormonestheres a treatment, compliments of modern medicine. Unresolved sexual problems can even have a silver lining. Menopausal woman may have more mature partners, who, due to performance issues, are open to the use of vibrators for a more satisfying sexual experience, Dr. Richards says.

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How Sex Changes After Menopause

Reviewed By:

Chris Kraft, Ph.D.

With no need to worry about getting your period, becoming pregnant or being walked in on by your kids, your postmenopausal sex life should be stellar, right? It can be good, but dont expect it to be the same type of sex you were having in your 20s, says Chris Kraft, Ph.D., director of clinical services at the Sex and Gender Clinic in the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

While you may have greater freedom at home, this is also a stage of life with a lot of changes that can affect your intimacy, he says. Youre redefining your roles and your relationship as the kids go off to college and your careers wind down. And youre also physically changing.

You Know What You Want

Menopause and libido: Effects on sex drive and remedies

Think Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. Older babes know what they want in the bedroom and dont have to be shy about it. Menopause is a very defining time for most women, many of whom realize that they have put their sexuality on the back burner for way too long, and if they dont use it, they will lose it for good, says Dr. Richards. Theres some data to suggest that women become less inhibited as they age, so its often a time of relaxation and being comfortable with who you are, and that often improves sexual functioning and sexual performance, says Dr. Wierman.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Could Kick

Bio-identical hormones can be a safe and effective way to treat perimenopause and symptoms of menopause, and hormone replacement therapy is a great option for reducing symptoms in many women that may boost their libido as well.

Hormones for menopausal relief may not be a fit for all patients, including many who have prior history of breast cancer or epilepsy. But for many, correctly administered hormone replacement can improve quality of life dramatically, as well as help with bone density and reducing colon cancer and Alzheimers risk. To make the best choices for you, consult your health practitioner.

Body Image And Menopause

Some of the things that may contribute to your body image around menopause include:

  • social attitudes Western culture rarely portrays older women as sexual or desirable. These ingrained social attitudes may make you feel less attractive. Some women wrongly believe that sex is only for young people. If you feel this way, it may cause your sexual interest and activity to wane
  • possible weight gain you may find your body fat increases at this time, especially around your abdomen. This is due to hormonal changes and other age-related factors
  • changes to body hair growth.

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