Low libido, or a low sex drive, is a common symptom of menopause. While it happens to up to 40% of women going through menopause, it can be a confusing and difficult symptom to cope with. Menopausal loss of libido is principally caused by a reduced level of estrogen in the body or as a side effect of other symptoms such as fatigue, vaginal dryness, and night sweats.
There are occasions when loss of libido is symptomatic of something other than menopause. In these cases, it is important to seek medical advice. Continue reading to learn more about other medical factors that may cause loss of libido.
Loss of libido must not be confused with sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction can be defined as the inability to become aroused or have an orgasm with sexual activity. Loss of libido is a reduction or lack of interest and in sexual activity, which may be due to hormonal, psychological, or emotional factors. Sexual dysfunction is, however, one possible reason for loss of libido.
Conditions That Cause Pain, Fatigue, or Reduced Movement
Any condition that causes pain, fatigue, or reduced movement can contribute to dwindling feelings of sexual desire. This would include things like arthritis or recovery from an injury or operation.
The disruptions to hormone balance as a result of hysterectomy can affect libido in different ways. Some women might find that they have an increased libido, whereas for other women, hysterectomy may incite intense menopause symptoms, including loss of libido.
Women who go through medical or surgical menopause may experience symptoms to a greater degree or more suddenly. Thus, they may suffer greater and more noticeable loss of libido.
Influence of Other Medication
Various medications women use as they approach menopause may affect their levels of libido. Antidepressants, amphetamines, and hormonal drugs may all influence the level of a woman's libido during menopause due to their physical and emotional impact.
If you believe that you are experiencing a low libido for a medical reason other than menopause, it is important that you consult your doctor. If it seems certain that your loss of libido is a menopause symptom, you may want to try treating it safely and naturally by adjusting your lifestyle and taking herbal supplements to balance your hormones. However, menopausal loss of libido does not have to be treated if it is not presenting a problem to you.
Follow the links below to learn more about other ways to combat low libido during menopause.
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Sex after the menopause. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/women4060/Pages/sex-after-the-menopause.aspx
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Menopause and sexuality. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-sexuality/