Low libido, or lost sex drive, is one of the common menopause symptoms that affects our overall quality of life.
How? Well, low libido does not only entail the quality of our relationship with our partner. It could also lead us to having a dull perspective of how we see our lives in general!
Dear woman, there’s more to life than just taking menopause as a crippling phase in your life. Many women have boldly turned things around and made menopause their time to shine brighter. And I want you to be one!
A good diet, an active lifestyle and having the right knowledge on what products to go for — three fundamental things that make a perfect blend!
Make these in sync with your daily habits. Surely, you will bring back the physical strength, the great shape, the fire in your spirit and your intimacy with your partner. Know how as we go on with proven ways to address low libido!
Low Libido in Menopause
“Libido is driven by a number of factors”, says Dr. Michael Ingber, a specialist in female pelvic medicine. The sexual response cycle requires a lot of things to happen too! This means that the whole sexual process can be affected by diet, lifestyle, stress and hormone levels.
Decreased estrogen levels during menopause can affect many aspects of sexual function, causing difficulty becoming aroused. This is a problem to as many as 45% of women after menopause. Problems such as pain, dryness, itch, soreness and decreased sensation then lead to low libido or lost sex drive.
Menopausal women were seen by experts to be at a greater risk of reproductive and sex-related problems, because of the fluctuating hormones. With that, menopause itself can lead to problems such as vaginal dryness and “vaginal atrophy” — and the discomforts that go with these conditions can further aggravate low libido.
Vaginal atrophy, in particular, can cause significant problems when it comes to sex drive and intimacy. A study published in the journal “Menopause” in February 2014 found that painful sex related to vaginal atrophy, was noted as the primary reason for lost sex drive and sex avoidance.
You can learn more about vaginal atrophy and how it affects our menopause journey in our article!
Facts & Myths About Low Libido
Dr. Anna Cabeca, also known as “The Girlfriend Doctor”, has listened to a lot of stories straight from menopausal women who struggle with lost sex drive. In this section, we will have glimpse of what The Girlfriend Doctor has learned as she continually guides women in midlife!
- “Our sex lives will become non-existent during and after menopause.”
This is the biggest MYTH when it comes to linking our libido with menopause. In fact, post-menopause can even grant you a more fulfilling intimacy and a more satisfying sex life than ever before!
- “Losing your libido and passion mean that you no longer love each other.” MYTH! Low libido or lost sex drive, feelings of loneliness from lack of connection, and perhaps feeling sorry for not wanting or being able to have sex — these are the actual feelings that get in the way!
- “All women will experience a change in libido and lubrication.” MYTH! There are some women who don’t experience a decline in sex drive even in their later years. Well, hello lucky ladies! Must’ve been the healthy diet, active lifestyle and strong connection you’ve maintained with your partner, eh?
- “Many women report being “good to go” once they get started.” FACT! It’s a no-brainer that knowing when and how to start, is actually the hardest of all. Fear and doubts take over but remember, the only bad move is the move not done.
- “Keeping the intimacy going is as important as having sex (and might even lead to more sex).” FACT! And by this we mean, intimacy that’s more than just physical. Sometimes, it takes some deep, open connection you have exchanged with your partner during the day. When bedtime comes, all else just smoothly follows between you — YOU’LL BE SURPRISED!
- “94% of couples believe that sex is integral to marital health and happiness, yet only 24% are actively working to improve and maintain their sex lives?” Need I say more? These numbers are FACTS. And I want you to belong to the active ones!
Practical and Natural Remedies for Low Libido
At this point in our lives, we really need to get more assertive about our own self-care. Embrace these practices and bring them into your lifestyle for a better sex drive!
- Eat a healthy keto-alkaline or keto-green diet that will keep your mood elevated, your hormones balanced and your body in top shape.
- Add some relevant supplements to your diet, like vitamins E, C, and B. DHEA and maca have been my excellent go-to supplements too! Both have effectively reduced my menopause symptoms including vaginal dryness. While DHEA particularly helps with raising sex hormones, especially testosterone, leading to an increased sex drive!
- Sleep well! If you suffer from night sweats from hot flashes, be sure you keep your room a cool 65 degrees °F (18 °C) and a fairly dim ambience.
- Find time to meditate, sit still and breathe!
- Take walks or hikes out in nature!
- Find time for your hobbies! If you got none, it’s high time to have one!
- If you find yourself stretched thin, practice to say “no” sometimes. Stress can also be a culprit to your lost sex drive!
- To keep the lady parts moisturized, lubes and vaginal creams can greatly help! Though these creams don’t directly affect sex drive, they do effectively help with thinning out the mucous membranes in our vagina — thus, making it easier for penetration. Sounds like a good time, aye?
- If you’re for lubes, water-based lubricants are preferable! They are less sticky and they offer a more natural feel. Just be careful as you may have allergic reactions to surgical lubricants.
- For creams, I personally use estradiol topical cream or Dr Anna Cabecas Julva cream. They all work really well for me! I have noticed how much the body loves creams that are made using only natural, restorative ingredients. So be mindful of the soaps and feminine washes you use; make sure that they are mild and gentle enough for our intimate areas or simply wash using plain water!
DID YOU KNOW? You can also find natural lubes at home! These products exist as natural oils like coconut oil, baby oil and olive oil. They have been used for centuries as sexual lubricants as long as they are non-allergenic. Some women prefer oil-based substances because they trap moisture in skin and make the skin more elastic.
If you are interested to know more of the top natural remedies for vaginal dryness during menopause, see our article here!
Herbal Products to Boost Low Libido
There are several herbal products too that would help you regain your lost sex drive just like the old days! If you have sex-related problems, you can now see better days! The catch? Because they are not synthetic unlike other conventional products, chances are low for unwanted side effects. Take a look at these!
Sarsaparilla: Grows in tropical forests of Central and South America that is said to possess aphrodisiacal properties. It has certain flavonoids that improves libido by stimulating sex hormones directly through the brain.
Tribulus: A flowering plant that can be found in warm regions like Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and Australia. It effectively dilates the arteries, improves the blood flow and increases the levels of sensitivity. It’s also good for the circulatory system and improves stamina.
Damiana: A shrub used as an aphrodisiac even by the old Mayan tribes. It’s native in southwestern parts of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The herb produces a mild tranquilizing effect, which results to enhancement of mood. It effectively increases intimacy, eliminates anxiety therefore alleviating sex disturbance and intensifies the excitement for sex.
Chasteberry: A shrub native to Mediterranean areas, and also one of the wonder herbs that help women in menopause by balancing the hormones and eventually eliminating its signs. This helps increase libido by amplifying sensitivity levels and stimulating natural lubrication of the genitals.
Raise Your Sex Drive Naturally
Get to know other amazing herbs to help you with low libido! These herbs are the greatest libido helpers. See this awesome video from “PrettyWell” titled, “Libido: How to Raise Sex Drive Naturally” by two naturopathic doctors — Dr. Patti Kim and Dr. Angela Agrios. They are California-based Licensed Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) who have been practicing for over 10 years!
A lot of us women develop longingness for something when we reach midlife. We desire a great life filled with positivity. Oftentimes, we seek comfort through food especially in sweet treats and sometimes alcohol!
I’m not saying we totally can’t, but we have to be mindful. All the unhealthy stuff we are fueling ourselves with, to fill the emptiness we feel only takes us further down the spiral. To enlighten you more. Dr. Nortrup is talking about this in her video below. She has some of the best tips in town, on what you should do. This video is packed with energy, happiness, sex drive and intimacy. Check it out! [10:34]
A Dose of Motivation
Are you striving too hard to be perfect?
If I get an amen, then I think I have now figured out what hugely influences your low libido. Dear lady, you don’t have to be perfect — the idea of perfection is too high and straining! This is the very reason that drains and takes away your drive, not only for sex but for life.
Many of us women want to have control — at everything. Control over our man, children, job, business, home, occasions and so on! Your thoughts and energy are poured all over the place but how much goes back to your well-being? At the end of the day, you can’t wait to curl up and be touched by your bed and not by your husband, because you’re too tired juggling things up.
Sure, cosmetic surgeries and aestheticians have gone more reachable nowadays, but these ways are just “skin deep.” (No pun intended!) Feelings of discontent will hit you sooner or later. This might only lead you to thinking even more that something was “wrong” with you and make you less secured of yourself. I do not want that for you.
Life is too short to strive for perfection that will only cater the sake of others. True sexiness comes from within! The confidence, being self-secure, having emotional peace and mental clarity — if you sum these up and not call it sexy, then I don’t know what is. Because that truly sounds like one strong, irresistible woman to me!
Even though we are at a later stage in life, we can still blossom. Radiate from the inside-out!
Take yourself seriously. Have some “me time”. Compliment yourself. Have a nutrition boost. Be present in the moment and live fully. Take a pause. Breathe. Feel. Don’t be afraid to explore yourself again. The more you know yourself, the easier you can connect. Be open to your partner and communicate your needs to each other.
Bear in mind that what you long for is within you — you just have to listen. Fill your days with what you love and do things that bring out your passion for life. Remember, it’s not the years in your life that count — it’s the life in your years. ?
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Gita is the founder of My Menopause Journey. Since 2014, she has been supporting midlife women by sharing hard-earned learnings from her own experience. To advance her knowledge, Gita puts a lot of her time and effort into understanding the broad spectrum of women’s health. She immerses in extensive research about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of menopause. Gita believes in the life-changing power of healthy, holistic living — this is where she anchors her message to all women. Learn more about her marvelous mission in About us - My Menopause Journey.