Low Libido and Vaginal Dryness in Menopause

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Low Libido and Vaginal Dryness in Menopause

Loss of libido and vaginal dryness throughout the menopause years are really common, but rarely spoken of between partners or discussed with a GP. And the reason? Well, it’s complicated.

Firstly, to reassure you if this affects you, according to this review the reported rates of sexual concerns in post-menopausal women are between 68% and 86.5%, higher than the more general 25% – 63% across all women.

In most cases the cause of lower libido during menopause is due to decreased hormone levels, which in turn can lead to vaginal dryness causing pain during sex.

Why does menopause affect libido / vaginal dryness

During menopause testosterone and oestrogen levels both decrease, which can make it more difficult to become aroused. This decrease in oestrogen can also lead to vaginal dryness.

How? Lower levels of oestrogen lead to a reduction in the blood supply to the labia making it more difficult to be aroused. Lower oestrogen also results in the loss of the mucosal lining in the vagina affecting lubrication and the thinning of the vaginal wall (vaginal atrophy), both contributing towards pain during sex.

Other physical changes and menopause symptoms can affect libido too, for example hot flushes, night sweats, fatigue, mood swings, depression, weight gain. Psychologically you may simply have detached emotionally from the act of sexual intercourse, you may be stressed, or even be affected by other prescription medication. There’s plenty to consider.

Whatever the cause, a lack of libido and/or vaginal dryness can cause problems in a relationship. If this is a problem for you then don’t leave it too late to take action and find a solution.

Tips to boost libido, reduce vaginal dryness during menopause.

There are several steps you could consider and include home remedies, lifestyle changes, and medical treatments. I share some of these with you here.

Home remedies and lifestyle changes

Many women find that simple home remedies offer all they need to increase their libido:

  • Regular exercise of 30 minutes a day can help decrease all menopause symptoms, promote appropriate weight loss, boost self-confidence, reduce stress, all of which help give your libido a lift.
  • Explore ways to promote a greater sense of intimacy with your partner
    • Consider doing more things together outside of the bedroom, have regular date nights, take a walk, share hobby interests.
    • TALK to each other and really LISTEN to what is being said. Share your needs and preferences, no judgement, no pressure.
  • Stress is the greatest contributor to disruptive hormones, affecting us physically and emotionally. Finding ways to reduce stress can be really helpful. Tai-Chi, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, even learning to say “no” without guilt can make such a positive difference.
  • Eat a clean diet, bursting with variety and colour from the foods Nature provides for us boosts energy, reduces stress and other menopause symptoms.
  • Herbs: Maca is an adaptogenic herb which is recognised for it’s aphrodisiac properties. Add 1 – 2 teaspoons a day of organic maca root powder to a daily smoothie, or sprinkle on other foods. Black Cohosh and red clover may also boost libido.
  • Lubricate and moisturise. Water based lubricants can help reduce dryness and make sex more comfortable. For example Sylk or Yes, available on-line and may be on prescription too.
  • Wash carefully avoiding perfumed soaps, as they can irritate delicate skin. All you need to clean yourself is warm water in the shower. Keep it as simple as that. If you have a discharge, an odour or continuous pain do consult you GP to ensure there is no infection.

Medical treatments

  • If you think your medication might be affecting your vaginal lubrication or sex drive, speak to your doctor to get advice on alternatives.
  • Vaginal low dose oestrogen in the form of creams or pessaries can be obtained on prescription from your GP.
  • HRT may be suitable for you, and you should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Your GP may also refer you to another health professional for counselling or CB~T (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • ANY continued pain during intercourse should be discussed with your doctor. There may be other reasons that need exploring.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, don’t stay silent!

Lack of libido, vaginal dryness, pain during sex can be really hard to discuss with a partner at any time of life, and maybe more so during the menopause years when additional stress of mid-life and chaotic hormones contribute further. As a seemingly taboo subject it can be difficult to start those much needed conversations.,

Please don’t be ashamed, as you now know this is not your fault, nor is it uncommon.

Have fun!

Clare 🙂

 


Natural Menopause Road Map

An internationally recognised on-line programme, helping busy ladies naturally create hormone harmony and  health through the menopause years and beyond.  Regain control, confidence, and be free to live the life they choose.

Find out more HERE


A full hysterectomy in her 30s led nutritional therapist and health coach Clare on an amazing adventure exploring the many opportunities available to manage her enforced menopause and create long-term health.

Clare prefers the natural approach, and qualifying in nutritional therapy gave her the confidence to come off HRT, take back control of her life and health, and look forward to living the best third of her life free of prescription drugs. Understanding the importance of creating harmony of health of both body and mind through menopause and beyond, she’s now on a mission to inspire, educate and empower other women, too. Help them create their ‘new life’.

Click HERE to find out more about how Clare shares her years of exploring, experience and knowledge through 1:1 consultations, speaking and online programmes, and where you can request a FREE 30 minute consultation with Clare to discuss any personal menopause/health concerns you may have.

Registered Nutritional Therapist

Member of the British Menopause Society

Award winning Menopause Coach & Educator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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