Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

Sex & Menopause

Menopause occurs most often between the ages of 45 and 55 years. This is the time when a woman’s periods stop, and her body undergoes many changes. 

A decrease in female hormone levels during menopause causes a number of symptoms which all result in a decrease in sexual desire.

Studies show that low libido affects between 20% and 45% of menopausal women. These women feel that the decrease in sexual desire affects their relationship with their partner. 

During menopause, certain hormone levels decrease

The function of these hormones include:

  •          Oestrogen – helps to heighten sensitivity during intercourse
  •          Progesterone – keeps the libido up
  •          Testosterone – boosts sexual desire and lubricates the vagina

Management of menopausal symptoms

There are a number of treatment and management options for menopausal symptoms and there are many things that can be done to increase libido.

Lubricants – these help to lubricate the vagina and make intercourse less painful. Be sure to use a water-based lubricant such as KY Jelly.

Hormone Creams – some of these prescription creams contain oestrogen and can help increase blood flow to the vagina. This will help with an increase in sensitivity and easier orgasm. The creams also aid in lubrication.

Hormone Therapy (HT) – This used to be called hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The treatment artificially boosts hormone levels that decrease during menopause. It can either be a short-term treatment (two to five years) for relieving the symptoms of menopause or a long-term treatment to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Sometimes testosterone is added to the HRT to increase sexual desire. A woman should consult her doctor before beginning HT. There are some possible side-effects of this therapy which could increase some women’s chances of: blood clots, breast cancer, vaginal bleeding, headaches, nausea and mood changes

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