If you are currently going through menopause, you are familiar with the changes going on in your body. Menopause can cause hot flashes, night sweats, menopausal anxiety, weight gain, and low libido. These symptoms are completely natural, but can also feel overwhelming, especially when they impact your sex drive. Luckily, there are ways to help reignite your libido and maintain intimacy with your partner.
Dr. Barbara Taylor, a retired OB-GYN and author of “Menopause: Your Management Your Way…Now and for the Rest of Your Life,” says it’s natural for a decreased sex drive to cause feelings of low self-esteem for many women. “It’s a feeling of inadequacy,” she tells SheKnows. “And regardless of whether it manifests emotionally, psychologically, or physically, it constitutes mental health. What’s worse is when a woman doesn’t even know why she has no sex drive. That’s where my menopause education can make such a huge difference.” Read below for everything you need to know about sex during menopause, including why low libido happens and how to get your sex drive back.
What happens to a woman’s libido during menopause?
“Sex hormones control the sex drive of all animals, including humans,” says Dr. Taylor. “The primary sex-drive hormone differs for men and women. For men, it’s testosterone. For women, it’s estrogen. Men never lose all their testosterone, but women have menopause, which is a process during which their estrogen decreases.” So, essentially, when a woman’s estrogen declines, so does her sex drive.
What steps can women take to help with intimacy?
Don’t be shy about discussing your libido concerns with your healthcare provider. They’re there to help and can provide valuable insights and recommendations. Many factors, including hormonal imbalances, can affect your sex drive during menopause. Your doctor can offer solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Menopause can be a rollercoaster of hormonal changes, and your partner may be feeling the effects too. The first step to addressing changes in your libido is open and honest communication. Start a gentle conversation about your feelings, desires, and concerns. Remember, your partner cares about your happiness and satisfaction in the relationship. Intimacy is more than just sexual activity, it’s also the ability to have tough conversations and bare your soul to someone.
Now that you’ve had this conversation, there are a few things you can do to both increase your libido and help make sex more pleasurable and comfortable.
Because estrogen is such a vital sex hormone for women, estrogen replacement can preserve your vaginal elasticity and your sex life. However, there are a number of natural and non-hormonal routes you could take as well. ERr 731® (Siberian Rhubarb) is a non-hormonal plant extract, which has been shown to have a 50-67% reduction in the severity of urogenital, sexual, and vaginal dryness symptoms in women who took the extract for three months compared to baseline.
Of course, having a good lubricant on hand will help keep everything going smoothly with your partner, or yourself, in the bedroom.
How can you rekindle your sex life?
Rediscover the intimacy in your relationship by trying new things together. Explore each other’s fantasies and desires. Be patient and understanding, knowing that sometimes the journey to reigniting the passion takes time. A supportive and loving partner can make all the difference.
Menopause isn’t just a physical change; it’s also a mental and emotional transition. Be kind to yourself and practice self-love. Embrace the changes your body is going through, and remember that your worth and attractiveness go far beyond physical aspects.
What tips do you have on how to tell their partner what’s going on with their sex drive?
Knowledge is power. Understanding the biological and emotional aspects of menopause can help you navigate this phase of life with confidence. Consider reading books, attending seminars, or seeking support groups where you can share experiences and learn from others.
“Basic education on menopause for men can prevent divorces, save sex lives, and support menopausal women,” states Dr. Taylor. She offers a number of resources specifically for men such as her book, Menopause: Your Management Your Way … Now and for the Rest of Your Life, which has a chapter dedicated to men, a webinar called Menopause 101 for Men, and YouTube videos that address the differences between men and women with regard to aging. The Menopause Society is also a great resource for both men and women looking to educate themselves on menopause and everything that can come with it.
Menopause may be a new chapter, but it’s also an opportunity to embrace your sexuality in a different way. The key is to maintain open communication with your partner, seek advice from your doctor, and explore various options that can help reignite your passion. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. The most important thing is to prioritize your well-being and happiness.
So, take a deep breath, communicate with love, and explore the options available to you.
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