Why does menopause impact libido?
The causes behind a loss of libido in menopause are complex and individual:
- Declining sex hormones: oestrogen plays a big part in our sex drive - and fluctuating and decreasing levels in menopause will impact us. In addition, we naturally see testosterone decline in menopause, which may impact us too.
- Psychological factors: Libido is also influenced by psychological factors. The relationship we may have with our partner, our stress levels, the way we view ourselves and our changing bodies.
- Pain from intercourse: our bodies want to protect us. So, if we experience pain during intercourse, we may subconsciously turn away from arousal.
- The domino effect: Other symptoms associated with menopause, like sleeplessness, fluctuating mood, bloating and gut discomfort, concern about our bladder and pelvic health can have a big impact on our libido too.
- Regularity: We also know that our libido is like a muscle; it needs exercise. We may find that the less we pursue pleasure, the less we seek it.
Our libido is critical to our quality of life. In fact, orgasms produce oxytocin, which makes us happier, as well as strengthen our virginal walls and reduce stress. They can even help us to sleep better.
So although the topic may feel awkward, it’s important not to ignore it as a natural by-product of this life stage or ageing. And the good news is that there is much we can do.
What can we do to address libido in menopause?
Speak to your GP: You should always talk to your doctor about your libido. HRT, if available to you, has been shown to help libido. And, if you are experiencing pain or dryness during sex, your doctor can also talk to you about vaginal oestrogens and non hormone solutions too.
Get to know your body better: Many of us hurtle into menopause with very little awareness of what really brings us pleasure. And, although a loss of libido can be distressing, it can also be an opportunity to explore what works for you. Explore new practices, new stimuli, new positions. If you’ve a partner, look at how this life stage could open up new opportunities for intimacy for both of you. We love the work of our resident pleasure expert, Gabriella Espinosa.
Look at how you digest stress: If we’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it is hard to feel sexual pleasure. Consider the introduction of breathwork or mindfulness to soothe your mind, reduce cortisol levels and awaken pleasure. A daily practice of just 10 minutes can make a big difference.
- Consider smart supplementation: A number of naturopathic remedies have a growing body of research around their potential to help with libido. We love Maca and Ashwagandha for the potential they have shown in published and peer-reviewed research. You can find both, in therapeutic dosage levels, in our foundational powder, Meno-Boost. Ashwagandha is also part of our first encapsulated powder, Mood-Food which is specifically designed to target cluster symptoms of anxiety, cognitive function and sleep that can impact libido too.
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