While many menopause symptoms are unpleasant, one of the most difficult symptoms to experience is loss of libido. Not only can it initiate feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and depression, but it can also negatively impact relationships.
It is not often understood by women how this symptom comes and how to cope with loss of libido when it does.
Fortunately,it is possible to address the problem at its hormonal source. By addressing hormonal imbalance - which is the primary factor behind menopausal loss of libido - it is possible to fully restore your sex drive. Read on to learn about the three main approaches to treatment of loss of libido.
Three Approaches to Treating Loss of Libido
When managing loss of libido, there are three different approaches of treatment, including lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and medications.
As with other menopause symptoms, making lifestyle changes is the recommended first step in treating loss of libido due to its low risk factor. For many women, lifestyle changes, alongside alternative medicine, can effectively treat loss of libido. Some women, however, may need to turn to prescription medications if the other two options are ineffective.
1. Lifestyle Changes
This primary level of treatment for loss of libido involves the least amount of risk, though it does require the highest amount of self-discipline. Many times, simple changes in lifestyle can lead to significant benefits in fighting the loss of libido and achieving a higher overall level of health.
One of the most unpleasant drawbacks of loss of libido is the negative impact it can have on relationships. In order to avoid alienating your partner, it is important to discuss what you are experiencing. By opening lines of communication and discussing concerns, fears, and anxieties, and by seeking counseling if necessary, these emotional side effects can be eased and the relationship strengthened.
Calming exercises like yoga not only reduce stress levels, but also tone the body and improve self-image, while aerobic exercises improve heart health and increase blood flow to the pelvic area. All of this helps to combat loss of libido.
- Oysters, red meat, liver, kidney beans (foods containing zinc)
- Leafy greens, almonds, buckwheat (sources of magnesium)
- Lean meats, fish, nuts, dairy (foods high in protein)
- Edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk (foods that contain estrogenic compounds)
- Yoga (increased flexibility, relaxation)
- Kegel exercises (strengthens vaginal muscles)
- Aerobics (for heart health and circulation)
- Stretching (good for relaxation, stress relief, and improved muscle tone)
While these changes will help alleviate many symptoms, they do not directly treat hormonal imbalance, the primary reason behind loss of libido during menopause. Alternative medicine has been shown to be another possibility for treating loss of libido in a safe and natural way.
2. Alternative Medicine
Considered low risk and affordable, alternative medicine, in conjunction with lifestyle changes, can be highly effective in treating loss of libido.
There are several different alternative therapies available for menopausal women. Some of these techniques include massage, aromatherapy, and herbal supplements. While all of these treatments can be helpful, herbal supplements are the only alternative medicine that will directly target hormonal imbalance within the body.
There are two kinds of supplementary herbs that may be used to treat libido loss: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
Phytoestrogenic herbs, such as ginseng and black cohosh, contain plant-based compounds that resemble estrogen. By introducing these estrogenic compounds into the body, phytoestrogenic herbal supplements help to correct the estrogen deficiency and mitigate hormonal fluctuations. However, adding outside hormones to the body can directly reduce the body's capability to produce its own hormones. In the long term, this causes an even greater drop in hormone levels.
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements
In contrast, these supplements do not contain plant estrogens or any external hormones. Rather, they promote natural hormone production by nourishing the endocrine glands. This results in a balance of not only estrogen, but in progesterone and testosterone levels as well. These supplements are often considered the safest and most effective means of treating loss of libido, since they lack side effects and stimulate natural hormone production.
From "Nature and Health Magazine," Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the endocrine glands." Click on the following link to find out more about Macafem.
A combination of approaches is usually the most effective route to take. In other words, lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine are most often the best way to alleviate the symptoms of loss of libido. However, for some women, the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary. Before taking prescription medications, it is important to consult a trusted medical professional to better understand the potential benefits and risks involved with this type of treatment.
This treatment approach carries the highest risk and is often the costliest as well. In North America, the most popular medication for loss of libido during menopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). While this can be a quick and powerful means of restoring lost libido, it also involves serious side effects and increases the risk of blood clots and heart disease, as the following study shows.
In 1991, the National Institute of Health (NIH) set up the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) - the largest clinical trial ever done in the U.S. - to investigate the effectiveness and disadvantages of HRT. However, this study was stopped in July 2002, at which point it was established that the introduction of artificial hormones into the body elevates the risks of ovarian and breast cancer, as well as of stroke, heart disease, and blood clots. These findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
While HRT and other medications can be a powerful treatment, the potential side effects are severe. In many cases, the risk of side effects outweighs any benefits the medication would bring, so it is important to take it under medical supervision.
These approaches to treatment - lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and medications - can be applied in any combination, depending on the severity of libido loss and its importance to the individual woman. A growing number of women are rediscovering their libido through a blend of healthy lifestyle changes and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
A Safe Way of Treating Loss of Libido
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements for alleviating a loss of libido, as detailed in the second approach, are considered to be the best treatment because they are effective, natural, and virtually free of adverse side effects.
Macafem, for example, is considered to be an optimal hormone-regulating herbal supplement. It's straightforward: rather than bringing outside hormones into the body, it stimulates the endocrine glands and promotes the natural production of hormones. This is what distinguishes Macafem from other treatments. Click here for more information about Macafem.
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Sex after the menopause. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/women4060/Pages/sex-after-the-menopause.aspx
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Menopause and sexuality. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-sexuality/
- Woods, N.F. , Mitchell, E.S. & Smith-Di Julio, K. (2010). Sexual Desire During the Menopausal Transition and Early Postmenopause: Observations from the Seattle Midlife Women's Health Study. Journal of Women's Health, 19(2), 209-218. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2009.1388