Will I Lose My Libido After Menopause?

Why menopause can take the sizzle out of your sex life

Most women associate menopause with the fact that it's when they stop getting their period and can no longer become pregnant. Menopause is also marked by various symptoms such as hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, changes in mood, and, for some women, a drop in their sexual desire. The good news is that this doesn't happen to every woman (some women actually see an increase in their libido during this time), but if you're one of the less fortunate ones, there are steps you can take to be able to enjoy sex again.

How Does Menopause Affect Libido?

It's true that due to the loss of estrogen that comes during and after menopause, some women experience a drop in sexual desire. Between emotional changes causing hormone fluctuations, along with hot flashes, weight gain, and fatigue, it's no surprise that women may lose interest in sex or have a difficult time becoming aroused during this time. 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, and are more likely than pre-menopausal women to respond to love and emotional bonding cues from their partners. So not only can they respond sexually, they do respond sexually, much as they did before menopause.

Who's Most Likely to Have a Drop in Libido?

For many women, menopause does not mean a loss of sexual response. That said, there are some risk factors that make it more likely that you will experience a drop in sexual desire. They include:

  • Women who have a history of sexual desire disorders
  • Women who undergo surgical menopause (after having their ovaries removed)
  • Women who suffer from vasomotor symptoms (like night sweats), depression, and insomnia

Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there aren't medications available that are FDA-approved to treat low libido in post-menopausal women. However, after discussing your individual situation, your doctor can help you determine if receiving estrogen or testosterone through hormone therapy may be a solution (even though that's also not yet approved). Additionally, your doctor may recommend you visit a sex therapist or attend couples' counseling in an effort to communicate with your partner about how to increase intimacy and feelings of desire.

A Word From Verywell

If you notice a drop in libido and it’s distressing to you, talk to your medical provider. Together you can explore the possible causes and discuss all the possible treatments.

After all, you deserve to have a healthy sex life and a thriving relationship during menopause and beyond.

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Article Sources

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