Sex is one of mankind’s first and primary instinct in terms of biological functions. It sits right up there with the need to eat and the need for survival. This is primarily because our bodies use sex as a way to reproduce and ensure the propagation of our species. As such, it can quite stressful for people to feel some form of change to their libido or sex drive. This is particularly true for women who are undergoing menopause. As such, it is no longer surprising that people will find ways to improve or increase their sex drive especially after menopause. In this article, we look at different strategies for increased sex drive after menopause and make this a form of guide for women. Read on to find out more!
Menopause and Libido: A Brief Backgrounder
As individuals experience menopause, one might note that their sex drive or libido starts to change. Some might experience a reduction in their libido while some might experience an increase in their sex drive. There is no guarantee that women will experience a reduction in their libido but one can say that such changes are fairly common. In a majority of such cases, a libido that is reduced during menopause is most likely caused by a reduction in the levels of hormones.
Such a reduced sex drive can lead to tightness or dryness of the vagina, which can also translate to pain while having sex. These symptoms can also make people less enthusiastic about having sex. Some of the other symptoms of a reduced sex drive include hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, and depression. For those who are currently having this libido loss, people can try increasing their sex drive through certain changes to their lifestyle and sex aids e.g. lubricants). If such home treatments aren’t that helpful, then a medical professional can help in finding treatment options that are right for you.
Increased Sex Drive After Menopause
Menopause can adversely affect sex drive in several different ways. During menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone are reduced which can lead to less sexual arousal. The dryness of the vagina can also be the result of estrogen reduction. Estrogen levels that are reduced can lead to a reduced supply of blood in the vagina, resulting in vaginal lubrication that is weakened or reduced. This can also lead to vaginal atrophy or vaginal wall thinning. Vaginal atrophy and vaginal dryness often result in sex that is uncomfortable or painful.
Some changes in the physical aspect of the individual can also adversely affect one’s libido. Most females start to put on weight while experiencing menopause and these negative changes to one’s body can also reduce one’s desire to have sex. Night sweats and hot flashes also commonly occur and these can lead to the individual feeling exhausted from any form of sexual contact. Other symptoms that can turn people off from having sex such as irritability, depression, and other mood symptoms.
When Should You Talk To Your Doctor?
For individuals undergoing menopause who are also observing changes to their sex drive or libido, a healthcare professional or a doctor can aid patients in identifying which factors may be causing the reduction of the individual’s libido. Once the consultation is done, the doctor may be able to provide treatment or recommendation options to address the said condition. This can include prescription meds, medications that are available over-the-counter (OTC), and other home remedies.
Depending on the doctor’s findings and the possible reason for the reduced libido, the healthcare professional may endorse the patient to another healthcare partner for additional assistance. One example is that people may be referred to a sex therapist if the problem is not due to any physical changes. The doctor may also recommend that the couple undergo some counseling if a better marriage or relationship is needed to improve sex drive or libido as well.
Things to Remember Before Discussing Your Condition With Your Doctor
It may seem uncomfortable to speak with a doctor about your reduced sex drive or libido but one should keep in mind that the doctor is a professional who is supposed to ensure that their patient’s overall health and well-being are taken care of without judging them. If the topic is still something that you feel is awkward, here are some things to remember that might help:
- Bring your journal or notes with you- Make sure that the concerns you raise are specific. It can aid the doctor in better understanding your symptoms. Individuals can also share which things can make their symptoms worse or better and the emotions they feel when these do occur.
- Prepare your questions before meeting with your doctor- Once the doctor is in front of you in the medical exam room, it can be difficult or challenging to remember all the questions you want to ask your healthcare partner. As such, it is recommended that people write their questions down before going to the said appointment. This can help you organize your thoughts and also help you and your doctor during the aforementioned consultation.
- Prepare for what the doctor might ask– While each patient and situation are unique, preparing for the questions your doctor might inquire about can help your nerves relax a bit. Some questions to prepare for include the level of interest in sex, some options the patient already tried, how much distress or pain the condition has caused, and how long have the symptoms been bothering the patient.
- Let the nurse know the details- More often than not, people will commonly talk to a nurse first before seeing a doctor. If the patient will let the nurse know about the critical information or details that the doctor needs to know about, then chances are the nurse will relay the information to the doctor. Some might even bring the issue up with the patient which can help somewhat.