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.
Factors That Decrease Libido
Some women feel sexually empowered and enjoy sex more after menopause, so a poorer sex life does not have to be a part of menopause. However, many factors can lower libido, such as:
Stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can consume you, impact your hormones, and make you feel uninterested in sex.
Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness commonly plagues menopausal women and can make sex painful and uncomfortable, leading to decreased libido.
Prescription drugs. Prescription drugs such as hormonal birth control, antidepressants and medication to lower blood pressure, prevent seizures, and treat psychosis, can decrease sex drive.
Underlying health conditions. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases can negatively impact sex drive.
Aging. A person’s sex drive tends to change and decrease as they age. Older people are also more likely to experience other factors that can decrease sex drive.
Relationship problems are the most common cause of loss of libido. If you are not happy in your relationship or do not find your partner sexually attractive, your libido can decline.
My Perimenopause Sex Life
I had heard about all of the above, but there was one thing I wasnt prepared for because Id never heard of it: a surge in my libido in the peri-perimenopause phase. Im talking about a libido so high I felt like stereotypical 20 year-old man, looking to have sex with anyone I found attractive, at any time. I called it the Sex Surge® because it felt very much like an electrical surge, a sudden burst of sexual energy in my system that sometimes threatened to blow my circuits. Ringing any bells with anyone?
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Find A Lubricant You Love
Vaginal dryness is totally treatable, says , MD, clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. One option is an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer designed to be used regularly, say two to three times a week, rather than just before sex. Take a walk down through your local drugstore, and you’ll see many different brands.
Then when you’re ready to hit the bedroom, apply a water- or silicone-based lubricant intended to be used in the moment, so you get even more of an assist. If you’ve never checked out lubricants before, you’ll be amazed at all the varieties, including natural, additive-free versions and some that come in single-use packets for a quickie on the go.
Myth: Menopause Ends Your Desire For Sex
The facts: Many women do report decreased sexual desire with menopause and the perimenopausal period leading up to it. Some women, however, report an increased libido while others report no change in their desire for sex.
Because libido is a complicated issue thats both physical and psychological, these differences are likely due to several factors.
You may, for instance, find sex is the last thing on your mind when youre experiencing hot flashes that leave you drenched, mood swings that remind you of puberty, and unexplained weight gain that makes your pajamas tighter than they ought to be.
But many women breeze through perimenopause to menopause with few problems and simply dont experience the hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms that make sexual desire a distant memory for some.
The good news is, you dont have to accept loss of libido as a normal part of menopause. If your desire for sex is low , and youd like a change, we can help with treatment that may include home remedies, over-the-counter aids, and prescription medicine, when necessary.
We can also help you work through the emotional aspects of menopause and the aging process itself. Depending on your circumstance, we may refer you for counseling and/or prescribe antidepressants, which are also known to decrease the hot flashes associated with menopause.
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Myth: Menopause Ends Sexual Pleasure
The facts: Menopause does bring certain changes that can negatively impact the physical aspect of sex, including:
- Loss of natural vaginal lubrication due to decreased estrogen production, which can make sexual intercourse painful
- Vaginal atrophy due to declining estrogen production, which may cause discomfort during sexual intercourse as well as urinary incontinence, vaginal infections, and other troublesome conditions
Fortunately, many effective treatments exist that can help restore your vaginal health, improve arousal, and increase your sexual pleasure.
We may recommend:
- A vaginal lubricant to ease dryness and discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Estrogen applied to the vaginal area via cream, suppositories, or a vaginal ring, to help repair and rebuild tissue
- Hormone replacement therapy to treat various symptoms associated with menopause, including the physical changes in your vaginal area
Interestingly, once weve eliminated your physical discomfort, regular vaginal sexual activity may help as well, since it increases blood flow to your vagina, keeps your vaginal muscles toned, and helps maintain vaginal elasticity.
How Menopause Affects Sex Drive
The loss of estrogen that comes during and after menopause is the main physical driver behind a drop in sexual desire. But women may also lose interest in sex or have a difficult time becoming aroused because of hot flashes, weight gain, fatigue, and emotional changes. Symptoms such as vaginal dryness can also contribute to pain and problems with sexual function.
Every woman will have her own unique set of responses to menopause. The good news, however, is that post-menopausal women respond to sexual cues similarly to pre-menopausal women they are also more likely than pre-menopausal women to respond to love and emotional bonding cues from their partners.
In other words, not only can they respond sexually, they do respond sexually, much as they did before menopause.
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.
Will My Libido Ever Come Back
Loss of libido, or reduced sex drive, is a common problem during peri-menopause and menopause, and women often ask me if their libido will ever come back. So, today I take a look at how menopause affects your libido and what you can do to help it both during and after menopause.
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If Sustaining Intimacy Is Becoming More Difficult There Are Many Approaches That Can Help
Even if, as the saying goes, the brain is a woman’s most important sex organ, we can’t deny the role our bodies playespecially as we get older. Satisfying sex depends on several things: presence of desire, arousal, absence of pain, and an ability to reach orgasm. After menopause, libido declines, and changes in our bodies can make it difficult to get aroused, painful to have intercourse, and impossible to climax. It’s little wonder that many women become dissatisfied with sex, and some avoid intimacy entirely.
Several years ago, a large national survey found that sexual activity fell precipitously with age. Fewer than half of women ages 57 to 73 said they were sexually active, and those who were had sex less than twice a month, on average.
The numbers don’t surprise Dr. Marjorie Green, clinical instructor in gynecology at Harvard Medical School. “Nature didn’t intend for us to be sexually active after menopause, so we have to work at it and be creative,” she explains. In her practice, Dr. Green helps womenand often their partnerswork at restoring their sex lives. To do so, she examines the emotional, physical, and medical factors that may sabotage sexual response and draws from a wide variety of therapies to address them.
What Do You Recommend For Extreme Vaginal Dryness And Painful Intercourse Due To Menopause I Have A Hard Time With Creams And Getting Them Applied Properly And Timely
Creams can be messy, so it’s good to know there are other options available. For example, a vaginal ring releases a low dose of estrogen over 90 days to treat dryness and loss of elasticity. Or, you might benefit from an estrogen tablet to insert into your vagina. Your OB-GYN can talk through these options and help you choose the best one for your situation.
Don’t let a physical issue prevent you from great sex.800.922.0000
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Why Do Some Women Urinate During Intercourse I’m 60 Years Old
Feeling extra pressure on the belly can cause peeing during sex. Changing your position might solve this. You can also try emptying your bladder before and after sex.
“Just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s normal,” says urogynecologist Kristin Rooney, MD. “This is a medical condition.” Urinary incontinence is very treatable. Treatments include behavioral changes, physical therapy and medications. Call 800.922.0000 to see a urogynecologist.
Medications For Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
Several treatments are available to turn up a womans arousal:
This prescription pill has been available to treat HSDD since 2015. Flibanserin is taken nightly and can ramp up sex drive, says Dr. Thacker. It may cause drowsiness and shouldnt be taken within 2 hours of drinking alcohol.
The downside is it takes about 2 months for the medicationto start working. But for many women , thetreatment is worth the wait.
This on-demand prescription medication was approved totreat HSDD in 2019. Women inject it under the skin at least 45 minutes beforethey anticipate getting frisky.
Dr. Thacker notes that as many as 40% of women experiencenausea after taking the drug. So she suggests this workaround: Take it rightbefore bed and cancel your morning meetings. Since the medication lasts 16hours, youre likely to sleep through any discomfort and can enjoy the amorouseffects when the sun comes up.
This hormone suppository can ease vaginal dryness and discomfort in postmenopausal women. Some women with low libido find it increases genital sensitivity .
Testosterone can treat low libido in women but its not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so this off-label use is controversial. It can cause side effects, including acne, hair loss, facial hair growth and mood changes.
Obstacle To Treating Desire Trouble: Testosterone Isnt Fda
One barrier that stands in the way of treating HSDD is the lack of an U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved testosterone for women with HSDD, even though there is quite a bit of published research on how and when to use it, says Faught.
Faubion agrees, saying Testosterone is fairly well studied for sexual health in women and is effective in almost all areas of sexual function.
Menopause Can Have Mental And Emotional Effects Too
Most people dont like their period, but when it goes away you feel your age, Dr. Rowen tells SELF. For some people, the idea of losing their period can be psychologically distressing.And as we mentioned, your hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, change during menopause. And this change may cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Lower estrogen can also trigger hot flashes that make it difficult to sleep, leading to mood swings and anxiety. Coupled with any emotional distress from losing your period, and you understandably may not be in the mood to have sex. If you feel down for more than two weeks, you may be depressed and want to speak with a therapist, the Cleveland Clinic recommends. However, finding a therapist can be a long, and often stressful, process. . Generally, you will want to start by asking your insurance company for a list of providers. If you dont have insurance, websites like Open Path include therapists who offer reduced-fee sessions.
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Can I Use Coconut Oil As A Lubricant
Coconut oil has many uses, both in food and in personal care. One of them is that it’s a great moisturizer. Solid at room temperature, it melts into a liquid when applied to the skin and gives skin a soft feel and a pleasant scent. People also use coconut oil on their hair and their tattoos.
But is coconut oil a good sexual lubricant? The answer is a solid “it depends.” Coconut oil should not be used as a lubricant if you are using latex condoms or other barriers. As an oil, there is a risk that it will erode the condom and increase the likelihood of breakage.
Despite reports in the popular press about the use of coconut oil for vaginal lubrication, there is remarkably little medical literature on the subject. There is some evidence that coconut oil is frequently used as a sexual lubricant in some parts of the world.
One 2020 study suggests it may help address vaginal dryness. There is some evidence that it is safe for vaginal flora .
When To Talk To Your Doctor
As a person goes through menopause, it’s natural for their experience of their body to change. However, there are certain signs that you should talk to your doctor. These include:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex or urination
- Any symptoms that make it difficult to function in your life
Even more mild symptoms may be worth talking to a doctor about if they’re making it hard to live your life. There may be options to help you sleep better and feel better, which can also help your libido and sex life.
People who are having trouble coping with the psychological changes of menopause should also consider talking with a therapist. A skilled sex therapist may be particularly helpful if you have difficulty figuring out how to reignite your sex life after menopause.
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What Are Treatment Options If You Have A Lower Sex Drive During Perimenopause
If you do experience a loss in libido and are unhappy about it, there are some things you can do to help. Experts recommend asking your doctor about Hormone Replacement Therapy, using over-the-counter lubricants, exercising to improve your mood and self-esteem, communicating with your partner to let them know what youre going through, and, whether you have a partner or not, changing things up.
Perimenopause and menopause are natural stages of life, but they can be challenging ones as well. Its nice to know that along with hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia, some perimenopausal women are finding that their sex drives are skyrocketing, and that they are experiencing magic. Heres hoping you are one of these women and if not, that you get the help you need to turn up the heat!
This article was written by Kelly Dwyer, a published novelist, playwright, and freelance writer.
How Hormones Affect Sex Drive
The main causes in the menopausal and the postmenopausal women is the loss of estrogen and testosterone that leads to changes in a womans body and sexual drive. Therefore, menopausal and postmenopausal women may notice that theyre not as easily aroused, and they may be less sensitive to touching and stroking. That can lead to less interest in sex. Also, lower levels of estrogen can cause a drop in blood supply to the vagina. That can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable sex but theres help for that read on! The fluctuating hormones during perimenopause can also affect a womans mental health which then, in turn, may cause a decrease in libido.
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