There are many reasons for loss of libido during menopause. Lowered sex drive may stem from physical symptoms associated with menopause, such as vaginal dryness, which can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse. It can also come from psychological symptoms, such as increased stress, anxiety, and mood swings.
The greatest effect of loss of libido is most likely to be on your relationship with your partner. Your partner may take your reduced interest in sex as a personal comment on your feelings for him or attraction to him. If you previously enjoyed a regular sex life, your partner may be confused as to why you have lost interest. It is important to communicate that your loss of libido is not personal, but rather the result of a combination of hormonal imbalance and menopause symptoms.
Loss of libido can be confusing for you, too, if it is something you have never experienced before. As a result of not feeling driven to have sex anymore or as often, your sex life will naturally become sparser. This could lead to feelings of inadequacy; perhaps you feel guilty that you do not have an interest in sex, or maybe your loss of libido is making you feel less feminine.
There are other ways to show affection to your partner and physically express your femininity. Treating underlying symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, can help you regain your libido and sex life.
Lubricant. Using a water-based lubricant can help alleviate vaginal dryness and itching. It you do decide to have sex, it can make it more enjoyable.
Pelvic floor exercises. Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones that you can contract to stop the flow of urine. Contracting and then releasing these muscles, known as Kegel exercises, strengthens the vaginal muscles to make sex more pleasurable and help prevent vaginal dryness.
Non-sexual affection. To avoid feeling a lack of closeness with your partner, non-sexual affection, such as massages and cuddling, is a way of remaining physically intimate even if you are not having sex as often as previously in your relationship.
Although menopause brings symptoms that can have a detrimental effect on your libido - and consequently your sex life - it does not have to have a detrimental effect on your relationship with your partner or on your self-confidence. Expressing intimacy in other ways and communicating with your partner will help you to remain close as you attempt to revive your libido.
Follow the link below for further information on how to avoid losing your libido.
- Maclaran, K. & Panay, N. (2011). Managing low sexual desire in women. Women's Health, 7(5), 571-581. doi:10.2217/whe.11.54
- National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. (n.d.). Lack of Sexual Intimacy: What It Means and How to Deal with It. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://www.twoofus.org/educational-content/articles/lack-of-sexual-intimacy-what-it-means-and-how-to-deal-with-it/index.aspx