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
If you’re experiencing a loss of libido, you can try to increase your sex drive with lifestyle changes or sex aids, such as lubricants. If at-home remedies don’t help, your doctor can help you find the right treatment.
Menopause and libido
Menopause can negatively affect libido in several ways. During menopause, your testosterone and estrogen levels both decrease, which may make it more difficult for you to get aroused.
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 of sex. Other symptoms include mood symptoms, such as depression and irritability, which can turn you off from sex.
See your doctor
If you’re going through menopause and noticing changes in your libido, your doctor can help determine the underlying cause of those changes. That can help them suggest treatments, including:
- home remedies
- over-the-counter (OTC) medications
- prescription medications
Depending on why your sex drive has decreased, your doctor might refer you to another professional for help. For example, they might recommend a sex therapist if there’s no physical cause for your decreased libido, or marital counseling if you and your partner want help improving your relationship.