Libido and Menopause
Ok this is not an area I have ever openly talked about, feeling slightly nervous that the first time I openly talk about this subject I'm doing so on an open platform of my blog on the big wide web. But here goes......
Where the bloody hell did my libido go? I’ve been looking for it but it seems to have jumped ship!
It’s been in decline for the last few years, I initially put this down to stress of lockdowns, our family business suffering, sleep issues and having a growing teenager in the house but as the world returned back to normal my libido did not.
I’m conscious that this could play a role in the success of my 19-year marriage, I have an incredibly understanding husband but there's something terribly sad when the urge just disappears. It will randomly pop it’s head up and I think oh hey, there you are and then it’s gone again.
Having a Mum who always taught me not to air my dirty laundry It’s not something I feel overly comfortable with discussing but when out with a friend recently she brought up the subject. Talking about how all the urges and feelings have just disappeared. I felt comforted to hear I wasn't the only one. And according to a recent survey by the British menopause society, it appears I most defiantly am not alone with over a third of those interviewed commenting on a loss of sex drive.
Having done some online searching it appears that I am not alone but that this is a discussion currently still behind closed doors.
Why have I lost my libido?
Oestrogen plays a role on our mood, energy leaves and sex drive and as these decline and fluctuate during peri-menopause so to might your libido. Some women comment on discomfort during sex or a dryness in the vagina, this can be linked to those dropping oestrogen levels as this thinning the lining of the vaginal wall. Vaginal atrophy, a phrase I had never hear of until today, is the medical term associated with the vagina becoming dryer and thinner.
It’s also possible that a decreased in blood flow could be playing havoc with your normal ways of becoming aroused and desiring sex.
The lesser talked about hormone, testosterone, which we associate with the male hormone could be having an impact on our libido. Testosterone declines at a much slower pace than our oestrogen levels.
Where do I find my libido?
I have taken a holistic approach to working out where my libido went. Trying to reduce stress and anxiety in my life which undoubtedly would not make one feel ‘up for it’.
Apparently when stressed we produce higher levels of cortisol. According to Dr Sumere Sahaney:
“This stops your body making other hormones, like oestrogen, that are important for your sex drive. Instead, the body prioritises making cortisol.”
I’ve cut out alcohol from my diet in a bid to assist and continued to eat well and exercise.
I've planned romantic weekends away, which have helped a lot. But clearly, I can’t do that every week! Despite the fact that I'd love to.
I've also gone back to reading 50 shades of grey again because the effect the first-time round were pretty impressive, my husband's been begging me to read it again ever since! I have to confess, this has not had the desired reaction I was hoping for, in fact it’s made me cringe and not understand how it turned me on so much the first time I read it! Don’t tell the hubby but I've given up on the book half way through.....
We’ve also tried listening to sex therapist podcast, which, whilst not quite the turn on you might be looking for, it has helped to open up the communication channels between myself and my husband. This being a very important point during this phase of our hormonal journey. Talking, helps you to both understand. Interestingly my husband believes there is a male form of menopause as his desires aren't what they once were.
It turns out perimenopausal journey is something you both might go through and it makes it a lot easier to have a husband who's open to talking and listening even if he doesn’t really get it.
To conclude, while I haven't fully found my libido the desire to keep looking for it is there and I'll hold onto that for the time being. I have started to research the natural herbs and ingredients that I could blend that might help.
I’ll be sure to come back and let you know what I discover!