Loss of sex drive can be one of the most frustrating symptoms of menopause. Many women find it difficult to understand why they no longer feel the need or desire to be physically intimate with their partner. In fact, up to 40% of women who are going through menopause will experience low libido. This doesn't mean you have to sit back and endure it. There are techniques and treatment methods available that can bring the passion back. Read on for answers to common questions about libido during menopause.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Low Libido during Menopause?
There are three ways to treat loss of libido: lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and medication. The cause of low libido is the hormonal imbalance that occurs as the reproductive system changes its production levels. For this reason, balancing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone is key to alleviating menopause symptoms. The following are the main treatment approaches available:
One of the most important things you can do to fight menopause symptoms is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and balance your consumption of foods containing zinc, soy, and protein. Exercise, hydration, and sleep are equally essential. Try to get at least half an hour of physical activity every day, drink plenty of water, use de-stressing techniques, get seven or eight hours sleep a night, and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
Herbal remedies like phytoestrogenic and homone-regulating herbs, medical massage, and aromatherapy are all considered forms of alternative treatment. These can all be helpful to menopausal women, so explore them to find out what works for you.
The most common medication for treating loss of libido is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, HRT is controversial because of its potential side effects, and you should consider it as a last resort. Talk to your doctor for more information regarding this treatment and any other prescription medications.
Are Any of These Treatment Options Better Than Others?
When seeking a treatment method for any menopause symptom, you should always start by making lifestyle changes. This is the least invasive way to fight symptoms, and there is no risk involved. Although changing habits can take a great deal of self-discipline and dedication, adjusting your daily routine can have noticeable effects on the production of your hormones.
However, because some women may suffer more severely from low libido, alternative medicine might be a necessary addition to lifestyle changes. Herbal supplements are some of the most popular forms of alternative medicine. Although alternative medicine isn't necessarily advised for long-term use, hormone-regulating supplements are safer to use than phytoestrogenic herbs, as the latter can decrease the body's ability to produce hormones on its own.
Hormone replacement therapy is the most invasive treatment method on this spectrum, and its use should be carefully considered. You should discuss it extensively with you doctor before making a decision, as it carries a high level of risk.
Are There Any Other Ways I Can Improve My Sex Life?
There are things you can do to boost your sex life, like practicing Kegel exercises to strengthen the vaginal muscles, incorporating aphrodisiac foods into your diet, and taking your time in the bedroom. Rushing into intimacy won't likely help your level of libido. Instead, spend more quality time with your partner. More intimate contact and foreplay will give your body more time to prepare for sex and will improve your experience.
More Information about Low Libido
You should talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your low libido or if you need more advice on the appropriate treatment option for you. For more information on loss of libido, follow the links below.
- National Health Service UK. (2015). Loss of libido. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/loss-of-libido/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2015). Physical activity. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001941.htm
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2015). Red clover. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/red-clover