Can Menopause Increase Libido?

Menopause can cause changes in a woman's body and sexual desire. Learn how menopause affects libido and how you can increase your libido after menopause.

Can Menopause Increase Libido?

The loss of estrogen and testosterone after menopause can cause changes in a woman's body and sexual desire. Menopausal and postmenopausal women may notice that they are not as easily aroused and may be less sensitive to touch and caresses, leading to a lower interest in sex. However, some postmenopausal women report an improved libido. This could be due to lower anxiety related to fear of pregnancy, as well as having fewer responsibilities in raising children, allowing them to relax and enjoy intimacy with their partners. Vaginal dryness can be treated with water-soluble lubricants such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.

It is important to avoid lubricants that aren't water-soluble, such as petroleum jelly, as they can weaken latex, the material used to make condoms. Condoms should still be used until your doctor confirms that you are no longer ovulating, and to avoid getting an STI. Lubricants that are not soluble in water can also provide a medium for bacterial growth, particularly in a person whose immune system has been weakened by chemotherapy. Menopause and postmenopause do not protect against STDs. You can get an STD at any time during your life when you're sexually active, and if left untreated, some STDs can cause serious illness, while others, such as HIV, cannot be cured and can be fatal. Sexual problems are more common in postmenopausal women, suggesting that menopause may reduce libido.

However, not everyone experiences a decrease in libido after menopause. For some people, there isn't much change, while others actually experience an increase in sexual desire after menopause. What makes the difference and what is most likely to affect you? A woman's brain is still her most important sexual organ, so use it to think about sex. Thinking more about it can make it happen more. Make an intimate appointment and write sex on the calendar - if it is not programmed, it is not done.

Plan a mini-trip away from home - sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to get the spark back. Your doctor may recommend changes in health habits and discuss whether prescription medications can help relieve symptoms, including decreased libido. Since there are so many options available, your doctor can help you find one that keeps your blood pressure low without decreasing your libido. A study of 500 women in early and late menopause found that while 12% of the perimenopausal group reported losing their libido, only 3% of the postmenopausal group reported the same. Talking to a doctor can also rule out any other underlying medical conditions that could cause a decrease in libido. Although a glass of wine can increase your libido, drinking too much can make it difficult to achieve orgasm.

Being in a new relationship can cause an increase in your libido, but after a while the shine starts to fade and you may have to work hard to achieve it. While changes in testosterone associated with aging can affect a person's sexual desire, research suggests that loss of libido isn't really that common. While herbs and natural remedies are common practice when it comes to increasing sexual desire, remember that most of them are not scientifically proven or clinically studied. As the first drug approved to stimulate female libido, flibanserin (Addyi) has been shown to only slightly improve sexual satisfaction in some women, and is intended to be prescribed only to premenopausal women. Some studies have shown that systemic hormone replacement therapy can improve libido and sexual responsiveness in women, although it may take three to six months before it is fully effective. And while it's still unclear whether testosterone increases or decreases sexual desire, it's clear that testosterone influences sexual desire to some degree. In general, people who are less stressed and more active after menopause are less likely to experience problems with their libido.

Mild dryness that only bothers during sexual intercourse can be treated with increased use of vaginal lubricants.

Sara Roshannon
Sara Roshannon

Hipster-friendly zombieaholic. Proud food advocate. Unapologetic music scholar. Amateur tv practitioner. Friendly social media scholar. Subtly charming music trailblazer.

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