The menopause can be a challenging time for many women. The body goes through various biological changes and with that comes fluctuations in hormone levels. Prior to the menopause, your sex drive peaks just before ovulation and, following menstruation, estrogen levels drop and so does your sex drive. This variation can sometimes cause tension, especially in a relationship where one of you may often want sexual intercourse while the other doesn't. During the menopause, however, your libido can become particularly erratic.
The menopause generally begins in a woman's late 40s, at a time when many women are dealing with several stressful situations at once, such as raising children, holding down a job and caring for an elderly relative.
If you want to increase your sexual desire during the menopause then start by looking at various factors that may be affecting your mood. If you are constantly stressed it is unlikely you will be interested in sex. Learn how to spend time relaxing, especially with your partner.
The solution? Try introducing an intimate massage session into your lovemaking, as this can add some variation and much needed 'spice' to your sex life.
The various changes which occur during menopause can mean you become less sensitive to touch, making it more difficult to become aroused. Lower levels of estrogen mean reduced blood flow, which can cause some women to experience a reduction in the natural moisture of their vagina. Pain during penetration is one reason menopausal women may feel reluctant to partake in sexual activity.
The solution? There are various solutions available to help with vaginal dryness. Try using a vaginal moisturiser or lubricant, which can either be applied several times a week or just before sex. Alternatively you can visit your doctor, as they will be able to offer prescription medications to help with this and other symptoms of menopause.
Feelings of lethargy or depression can affect your sex drive at any time, but especially during the menopause. Some women are prescribed antidepressants to treat symptoms such as hot flushes as well as depression, and a possible side effect of this treatment is reduced sexual desire.
The solution? Speak to your doctor about whether antidepressants are the right choice for you, particularly if you are experiencing undesirable side effects. There are several alternative available which may help ease your symptoms.
Many women blame the menopause for a low sex drive when in actual fact there could be other health problems behind this such as bladder issues, iron-deficiency or even an underactive thyroid.
The solution? If you're feeling at all unsure about the cause of your declining libido, it's worth having a medical checkup to ensure there are no underlying health concerns. It's also important to maintain your own self-care regime as this can improve your self-confidence and ultimately, your sex life.