Low libido during menopause

Low libido during menopause
Every day women face images of the so-called perfect woman; the supermom, career-dynamo, ultimate bff,* perfect partner, inspiring leader, and sensual goddess! After all you do every day; sensuality or intercourse might be the last thing on your mind. Having a low libido can be normal over the course of a lifetime.

There is no one correct definition as to what a perfect sensual life is; what type or how much. But if you are feeling unsatisfied with this area of your life, a low libido might be due to menopause or it could signal other health issues.

What is a low libido?
What is considered normal for one woman does not have to apply to all women. Some women want and have intercourse several times a week while others just a few times a year and still others have no desire at all. All of these women are likely happy with their situation and have made their personal lifestyle choice based on personal preferences, religious beliefs, and cultural practices. The problem is when you are not happy with the way your sensual life is and you are having stress or anxiety as a result.

Low libido in a nutshell
If you have previously enjoyed a healthy sensual life and find yourself uninterested in intercourse it could be due to those hormones during menopause. It is quite normal to lose interest if you are tired or going through a stressful time in life, or suffer from negative attitudes towards your body. If your partner wants more or less intercourse than you do, this will add to the stress levels.

Menopause and low libido
Decreased estrogen levels often mean women have less interest in intercourse. At the same time, vulvar or feminine genital dryness, cellulite, weight gain and fatigue associated with menopause can make intercourse a miserable experience. If the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, your mind and body are not in synch and your sensual needs are not being met.

Talk to your doctor
Talking about sensuality and intercourse can be very uncomfortable for some women. Your doctor should be able to listen to your concerns and discuss your health issues in a non-judgmental manner. By not talking about sensual health, we continue the cycle of stress. Plus we need to make our voices heard and have the medical profession take women’s issues seriously, including sensual matters.

Your doctor will discuss your sensual history and perform a pelvic exam to help determine what might be causing your low libido. Some of the more common causes include:
*Menopause or peri-menopause
*High blood pressure
*Vulvar or feminine dryness
*Thinning of the vulvar or genital walls
*Underactive thyroid
*Stress from balancing a busy life involving raising children, taking care of elderly parents, working, or events such as a recent illness or divorce
*Problems within your present relationship or starting a new relationship
*Taking medications
*Drinking too much alcohol

Even when you understand the underlying cause to your low libido, there is no one guaranteed way to deal with getting things back to your level of normal. Your doctor will likely suggest a comprehensive approach to improving your sensual health.

You can take steps to changing your lifestyle habits – getting more exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating a balanced diet, and reducing stress.

Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic region or what is sometimes called the pelvic floor. These discreet exercises can be performed any time and anywhere; at home, at work, while commuting or even while waiting in line. Simply tighten your pelvic muscles by squeezing them as if you were trying to stop urinating. Hold this position for a count of five and perform deep breathing at the same time (resist the urge to hold your breath!), then repeat this process 9 more times to make a set of 10. Repeat this little exercise several times throughout the day.

Talk to your partner about ways to make intercourse more comfortable or ways to make sensuality part of your life. With busy lives sensuality is often the first thing that gets moved to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list but for many couples sensuality and intercourse are still an important part of the relationship. You might even have to schedule some time for a ‘date night’ in your PDA to keep your sensual life from becoming neglected.

Your doctor may also recommend medication depending on any present health conditions. Hormone replacement therapy may help some women deal with low libido due to menopause. As noted earlier some medications can interfere with sensuality and intercourse and you may be able to find an alternative with fewer side effects.

Your sensual life should be just where you want it; having the amount of sensual activity that is right for you. A low libido can occur at many times during your life, but it does not have to become your life. Talk to your doctor to help learn about what you can do to enjoy sensuality on your terms and celebrate your personal choices.

www.mayoclinic.com can help you on your next doctor’s visit by covering this and other related topics.

*bff – new age slang for ‘best friend forever’

Menopause, Your Doctor, and You

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