As you go through menopause, you might notice that your libido, or sex drive, is changing. Some women may experience an increase in libido, while others experience a decrease. Not all women go through this libido decrease, though it is very common. In most cases, a lower libido during menopause is due to decreased hormone levels.
These decreased hormone levels can lead to vaginal dryness and tightness, which can cause pain during sex. Menopause symptoms can also make you less interested in sex. These symptoms include:
- mood swings
- weight gain
- hot flashes
A decrease in estrogen can also lead to vaginal dryness. Lower levels of estrogen lead to a drop in blood supply in the vagina, which can then negatively affect vaginal lubrication. It can also lead to thinning of the vaginal wall, known as vaginal atrophy. Vaginal dryness and atrophy often lead to discomfort during sex.
Other physical changes during menopause might also affect your libido. For example, many women gain weight during menopause, and discomfort with your new body can decrease your desire for sex. Hot flashes and night sweats are also common symptoms. These symptoms can leave you feeling too tired for sex. Other symptoms include mood symptoms, such as depression and irritability, which can turn you off from sex.
Tips for talking with your doctor
Talking about sex with your doctor might make you uncomfortable, but remember that it’s their job to take care of all aspects of your health and well-being without judgment. If you’re uncomfortable with this topic, here are some tips to help:
- Bring notes. Be specific about what your concerns are. It will help your doctor if you have notes on your symptoms, including what makes them better or worse, and how you feel when they occur.
- Write down questions to bring with you to your appointment. Once you’re in the exam room, it might be hard to remember everything you wanted to ask. Writing down questions beforehand will help make sure you get all the information you need and help guide the conversation.
- Know what your doctor might ask. While every situation is different, understanding what your doctor might ask can help calm your nerves. They will probably ask how long your symptoms have been going on, how much pain or distress they cause you, what treatments you’ve tried, and if your interest in sex has changed.
- Tell the nurse. You’ll usually see a nurse before the doctor. If you tell the nurse that you want to talk to the doctor about sexual issues, the nurse can let the doctor know. Then they can bring it up with you, which may be more comfortable than bringing it up yourself.
Full story at Healthline.com