Sex drive and menopause

by VibePlanet editorial team
Apr 1, 2020

Most middle-aged adults describe sex as a fundamental aspect of their growth and existence. In Maslow’s Hierarchy Paradigm, sex is a physiological need that must be satisfied. Those who experience menopausal transition endure not only physiological changes but also a deterioration in sexual performance. Sexual dysfunction affects the physical body, marriage, emotions, career, and quality of life. 

Sex drive and menopause in females
Photo by Gustavo Fring

Getting to Know the Culprits of Poor Libido

Menopause and decreased sex drive are linked to age. Health experts explain that with age,  the problem in sexual response progresses steadily. This is because of the lowering level of gonadal hormones in the body, which are an essential element in ovary-havers’ sexual health. The depletion of gonadal hormones results in painful intercourse and dryness in the vagina (Thornton et al. 2018).

What causes a vulva-owner not to be sexually active?  

Hormones are not just to be blamed for menopause and libido decline. Weak muscles of the pelvis, pelvic disorders, negative feelings, mental pressure, and socio-economic stature can also affect the desire for sex. As we age, there’s a tendency to have heightened susceptibility to disability and chronic health conditions. Health problems such as increased blood pressure, uncontrolled blood sugar, heart conditions, and incontinence contribute to diminished blood movement to the pelvic region, and therefore, can dampen sexual excitement (Sowers, 1995). Besides, medications, particularly antidepressants, blood pressure tablets, steroids, antihistamines, anticholinergics, hormonal preparations, and cardiovascular drugs, can also have sexual side effects and can reduce libido or eliminate orgasm. (Ambler et al. 2012). 


Intensifying Sex Drive in Older Vulva-Havers – How is This Possible?

People with ovaries in climacteric years should not be despair concerning their sexual health. Despite the troublesome symptoms accompanying the final menstrual period, increased sex drive and menopause retreat are seemed achievable. Thanks to science and technology, having better sex during the midlife years and years beyond is possible! The following is a guide to reviving sex drive in menopause:


  • Psychosexual counseling. The sessions are available solitarily or with your partner. In psychotherapy, the therapist identifies the issues or factors that contribute to lower sex drive and provides suggestions on how to deal with them. It also creates a purposeful environment for the couple to have an open dialogue to explore personal sexual issues and to identify solutions (Appian et al. 2010).


  • Medication. An FDA- approved drug named phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor affects menopause and increased sex drive. This medicine, which treats erectile dysfunction in people with a penis, has been found to enhance sexual interest and performance in menopause (Thornton et al. 2018).


  • Hormone replacement. The production of estrogen declines during a midlife crisis. As a result, ovary-havers experience vaginal atrophy that may accompany reduced vaginal secretions, lack of libido, and increased pain during sexual activity. However, the link between estrogen and improved sexual activity is not conclusively proven. The hormone may not ameliorate sexual desire but may strengthen sexual function by vaginal secretion production and alleviating pain during intercourse (Nappi et al. 2010). 


 Can menopause make you hornier without hormone replacements?

Recognizing and addressing the conditions that disturb sexual performance may increase sexual response. Menopause can make you more sexually active by working on the issues, raising awareness, and promoting self-care. Focusing on physical health contributes to emotional wellness and how you feel affects your overall wellbeing.


Regular exercise and proper nutrition show improvement in sexual function (Gerber et al. 2005). According to surveys, Americans who self-rated themselves as having poor general health suggest to be less active in sex (Lindau et al. 2007). Physical activity can mitigate problematic symptoms associated with menopause, such as sleeping problems, weight gain, poor cognition, and mood disorders. On the other hand, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a proven, safe approach in helping those transitioning through menopause. CAM  in the form of mind-body practices like hypnosis, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, stress reduction, yoga, and aromatherapy are proven to not only reduce subjective menopausal symptoms but also improve sexual function and overall gratification (Johnson et al. 2019).

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

What Happens After Menopause?

Postmenopause is the extent of time following one year of amenorrhoea. Many factors can cause poor sex activity in postmenopausal individuals. The question remains if one can still have an orgasm after menopause. Health experts say that if the menopausal symptoms are addressed and controlled, sex return after menopause is possible. While hormone replacement therapy provides leadership on this, some people report having a regular sexual activity without the utilization of hormonal treatments.


  • Sexual enhancers. Vaginal lubricants and sex toys augment vaginal secretion and therefore help in boosting libido. Vibrators enhance blood flow in the genital region and not only increase arousal but also encourage estrogen distribution, which addresses genitalia dryness (Stamford Health, 2017).


  • Make a positive mental shift. The most significant stimulus for sexual arousal is the human brain. Engage your mind and body. Work with your partner on how to make sex more exciting and appealing for both of you. Be more intimate before lovemaking. For example, you are going out for a romantic dinner, watching erotic films, or enjoying a sensual massage.


  • Make it regular. Sex therapists say that regular sex maintains vaginal moisture and elasticity. They added that extended foreplay helps your partner become more engaged before insertion. Another tip is frequent masturbation. Frequent masturbation improves blood supply to the vagina and counteracts menopausal symptoms. It also helps in discovering approaches that may be pleasurable to you.
Natural woman expressing herself and dancing
Photo by Elle Hughes


Menopause is a natural, irrepressible process of aging. Many factors contribute to menopause, but the steady decline of estrogen appears to be the main culprit. This brings age-related physiological changes impacting sexual performance. There are a plethora of options you can try to increase satisfaction and performance during sex. Selections can involve medications, hormone replacement, counseling, improving general health and wellness, and creating a positive frame of mind. 


There is no panacea when it comes to dealing with sexual dysfunction linked to menopause. Sex can be very different after menopause, but there are efforts you and your partner can make to turn sex into a gratifying experience. It is worth mentioning that the solutions can be holistic and multidisciplinary, which may mean a mixture of different approaches. The silence about menopause should be broken. Creating an open dialogue with your doctor helps in the early discovery, prevention, and management of menopausal symptoms.

By admin

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