Being a woman, menopause is one of the daunting experiences likely to evoke fear in your life. Other women might describe it as a tumultuous time due to the drastic body changes; including the drop in libido. It is important to note that sex drive typically decreases with age in both women and men, but for women, the likelihood of experiencing low sex drive is two to threefold that of men. Menopause tends to affect sexual desire in women in different ways. Some women tend to experience an adverse decrease in sexual desire, while for others there is no noticeable change in sexual desire. In other women, there is an increased sexual interest at midlife; in such cases, the women might feel liberated because of their new found freedom from contraceptives. Therefore, women experience varying changes in libido.
In most cases, however, women in the menopausal and postmenopausal phase tend to be less sensitive. Consequently, you might find it challenging to get aroused and fail to respond as you would to stroking and touching compared to your younger years. There are usually two main reasons why you could lose libido during menopause, and they are typically classified into physical and psychological factors.
Hormonal imbalance is a major cause of low libido during menopause. The accompanying loss of testosterone and estrogen during menopause often comes with adverse reactions in a woman’s body and sex drive. Estrogen, the core female hormone, typically plays the role of ensuring that the vagina walls are healthy and lubricated.
Additionally, the hormones progesterone and testosterone, work in tandem to maintain libido in women. Testosterone works to evoke sexual desire while progesterone stimulates the production of the testosterone hormone. It is postulated that fluctuating levels of the key reproductive hormones in the menopausal period are likely to affect mental health. Consequently, you might experience lower libido during menopause. Testosterone also plays a crucial role in a woman’s sexual sensation. Low levels of the hormone will thus dent your libido.
Low Blood Supply to Sexual Organs
Low levels of estrogen often cause a decrease in blood supply to the sexual organs. The reduced circulation of blood to the vulva, vagina, and clitoris is among the first changes to occur in menopause. Further, the clitoris is one of the crucial centers of sexual pleasure, and lower blood supply makes it less sensitive as age increases. Subsequently, menopause causes the vagina to become overly dry due to the lack of lubrication. The result is that you might experience increased discomfort during sex. With time, as sex becomes anticlimactic, sexual desire dwindles to the point where you no longer find sex pleasurable.
Pain During Sex
With the dropping levels of estrogen, you might experience dryness and thinning of the vaginal tissues. Penetration thus becomes uncomfortable, often resulting in severe pain during sex. After sex, you may also experience soreness or burning sensations in the vagina. In severe cases, the vaginal tissues can tear and bleed. Such factors, combined with subsequent inflammation, may result in infrequent sex and decreased libido. The fear of pain further sparks performance anxiety and aggravates arousal problems.
Menopause Side Effects
The dropping estrogen levels tend to cause night sweats, hot flashes, and weight gain. Also, menopause might cause vaginal dryness. Such effects might dent sexual drive and motivation. Some women also experience anxiety, fatigue, and trouble sleeping. If you experience such side effects, attaining sexual pleasure might be a challenge.
The diminished sexual desire and the rareness of sexual thoughts frequently act as a source of distress in itself. Such thoughts tend to deteriorate the satisfaction with life. If this dissatisfaction occurs, you might find yourself undergoing depression. Depression plays a role in diminishing sex drive. Studies have shown that stress diminishes a woman’s libido. Moreover, at the menopausal phase, you might be parenting and taking care of aging parents. During such times, you may become irritable and depressed, and thus experience a drop in libido.
Anxiety also tends to have negative effects on sexual desire. In some cases, the anxiety and lack of sexual desire are provoked by issues such as urinary incontinence and poor social skills. Further, if you typically have had problems achieving orgasms, it is likely that you will experience low libido during the menopausal period.
In conclusion, for many women in the postmenopausal and menopausal period, sex drive is often not the first phase of sexual response. Libido in such women is often preceded by arousal. Arousal for such women often requires seduction and suggestion by partners. During such a time, your body is undergoing change. The physical, physiological, and psychological changes often create challenges attaining sexual desire. However, with the advancement of medicine, there are certain remedies that can make such a time less stressful for you.