Does Menopause = Decreasing Interest in Sex?
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we have patients who are passing through menopause or who have completed it who complain about a decreased interest in sex. They wonder what’s behind the changes, as their relationship hasn’t changed and other factors, such as job stress, aren’t present.
The answer is menopause can decrease a woman’s sex drive, but not in all women. Decreased hormone levels seem to be behind the changes.
Because this can be an issue for all women, here’s some information on menopause and your libido.
Menopause and your sex life
Menopause can impact your sex drive in several ways. During menopause, your testosterone and estrogen levels both decrease. This can lead to an accompanying lack of interest or increasing difficulty in getting aroused for sex.
Decreased estrogen can also lead to vaginal dryness. This is because lower estrogen levels lead to a drop in the blood supply to the vagina. This can affect natural lubrication, which can then make intercourse painful.
Another side effect of dropping estrogen levels is called vaginal atrophy, where the vaginal walls become thinner. Like dryness, this can also lead to pain during intercourse.
Hot flashes, weight gain, night sweats, fatigue, moodiness, and depression — all part of the joys of menopause — can also impact your sex life. It’s not as if your hot to trot simply because you’re having a hot flash!
Treating post-menopausal sex issues
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we can help, even if it’s just a sounding board to vent to.
We can treat hormonal changes with hormone therapy. By replacing the hormones your body is no longer producing, estrogen pills can help reduce vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy. But there are some serious risks with estrogen therapy, among them the development of blood clots and breast cancer.
There is some evidence that moderate doses of testosterone can help menopausal women increase their sexual interest. But, like estrogen therapy, testosterone therapy has risks such as higher cholesterol and acne breakouts.
such as Astroglide can ease your vaginal dryness, making sex more comfortable. This may help increase your interest, as well.
If you’re experiencing a decreased interest in sex during or after menopause, don’t hesitate to talk with us about it during your next exam at Women’s Health Medical Group. You’re surely not alone! Call us at (817) 346-5336 to make your next appointment or with any questions you may have.