Menopause and Sexual Desire

Eileen Bailey Health Guide August 19, 2008
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    Some women feel a decreased sexual desire during perimenopause and menopause. This lack of desire can be caused by several different things, but does not need to be considered and "inevitable" part of aging. 

     

    Hormonal 

     

    Hormonal shifts that occur during perimenopause and menopause can contribute to the lack of sexual desire. There are three hormones that impact our sexual desire. Estrogen contributes to the sensitivity we feel during intercourse; progesterone works on libido and testosterone increases sexual desire. When hormone levels drop, sexual desire drops. This, however, can be easily treated by a physician and does not need to be an ongoing problem.

     

    Some of the common treatments your doctor may recommend are: 

    • Hormone Creams
    • Hormone Replacement Therapy
    • Testosterone Replacement Therapy 

    Self Image 

    Aging can be a scary thought. Women's bodies change as they age, and these changes may make a woman feel less sexy. They may believe their partner no longer sees them in the same way or would prefer the body of a younger woman.

     

    While women have often felt their bodies were less than perfect, as they age, this feeling can increase. From a young age, women have attached a certain amount of their self-image to their body. With the changes of age, self-esteem can suffer.

     

    As women age, looking inward and examining the strengths and beauty that lies within can help. Look back over your life to the good that has happened and the successes of your life. Menopause is a good time for self-reflection and changing the negative views of beauty to a more positive, healthy view of yourself. 

    Everyday Stresses 

    Menopause comes at an age when women may naturally be feeling stress in their life. Their children may be teenagers or they may have recently left home. Parents may be aging and need assistance and care taking. Careers may be more demanding. A woman could be divorcing or trying to rediscover the thrill in a long-term relationship.

     

    Stress is a common cause of lack of sexual desire. Taking some time for yourself each day can help to relieve stress and in turn increase your desires.

     

    A few stress reducers: 

    • Use a daily journal to write down your thoughts.
    • Learn meditation and find time to meditate for ten minutes a day.
    • Exercise on a daily basis, even if it is a walk after dinner.
    • Insist on "me" time each day, use it to do something you enjoy or want. 

    Changing Attitudes 

    For many, sexual encounters, even with a spouse, are inappropriate after a certain age. Women may feel that sexual fantasies or adventures are something that young people do and may feel a certain amount of shame after a certain age.

     

    Sexual enjoyment can occur at any age and for many people, sexual interactions continue for their entire life. Fantasies are not limited to people under a certain age.

     

    Take time to talk with your partner about your fantasies and ask what fantasies they may have. Enjoy the time to know there is no chance of unwanted pregnancy and now is the time for you to enjoy one another.

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    Take time to be together with your partner, enjoying activities you may not have had the time to do with younger children. Take a weekend to go somewhere together or just make plans to spend a weekend afternoon enjoying each other's company. Being together with your partner in a relaxed atmosphere can help to build the sexual desire for one another.