Not Tonight, Dear
Many women report a significant loss of libido or sex drive with the arrival of menopause. While a woman may not miss her libido, her relationship with her partner may suffer as a result of her lack of interest in sex. Some couples may even enter therapy for this reason.
But therapy may be missing the boat. It's important to examine the reasons behind the loss of sex drive before rushing off to provide solutions. The solution will have to be tailor-made to address the problem.
There are many reasons behind the menopausal loss of libido. Some of the factors that cause the lack of sex drive are physical while others stem from stress or other emotional issues. If it is depletion of estrogen stores causing the lack of sexual desire, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be the answer. If the problems are stress-based, it may be time to make some lifestyle changes.
Some of the loss of libido occurs during the stage that arrives just before menopause: perimenopause. During this time, the hormone levels begin to change and it is this changing balance that is the culprit robbing you of your sexual desire. Hormones serve to regulate bodily processes. It's not so much the ebb and flow of hormones that causes the symptoms, but rather that the hormones no longer work in harmony and are therefore out of balance.
Loss of libido can be a symptom of this imbalance, or the result of other symptoms that come with the hormonal fluctuations. When estrogen levels dip, some women may experience vaginal dryness and pain. If a woman feels discomfort during sex, she may no longer find sex a pleasurable experience. It's easy to see from this example how loss of libido can be both a physical and an emotional issue. OTC lubricants and HRT estrogen can work wonders in this situation.
Some of the hormonal changes may cause women to feel irritable, depressed, and even angry or aggressive. When a woman is in the throes of such emotion, she may not be in the mood for sexual congress. Here too, your doctor will know how to prescribe a regimen of HRT that's just right for you.
Low testosterone levels may also be responsible for loss of libido. When a woman's levels of testosterone are depleted she may feel a lack of energy or even depression. These feelings, in turn, can lead to a loss of libido. Testosterone replacement therapy is available. Speak to your doctor about having your levels tested.