Loss of libido during the menopause is common and can affect 20-40 per cent of women. Unfortunately, it can be one of the most difficult symptoms to manage and is caused by a mix of psychological, physical and hormonal factors, usually characterised by a lack of desire or interest in sexual activity.

The changes in hormone levels are the main medical cause of a loss of libido. Changes to levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone can all affect a female’s desire for sex. Oestrogen has a major role in the female sexual function, particularly because it can increase sensations, maintain healthy vaginal tissue and aid the production of vaginal lubricant. If you are worried your oestrogen level may be low you can check it using a simple at-home blood test.

Symptoms like a loss of libido are often considered taboo subjects but you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about asking for help. The menopause can cause many symptoms which make women feel embarrassed but GP’s are used to being asked for help with sexual issues. Some practices may also have a doctor who specialises in this area who can help.

There are some things you can try, though, to help boost your libido, such as:

  • increase touching: communication between yourself and your partner can be improved through kissing, touching and foreplay
  • date nights: engage in activities together which can help you get to know each other again. It is easy to get comfortable in a relationship and let everyday stresses get in the way.
  • Talk to each other: it’s important to communicate with your partner and let them know how you’re feeling. A loss of libido doesn’t necessarily mean you no longer love your partner or find them attractive and they may need some reassurance from you. Equally, your partner may be going through major changes in their life, too.

You can read more about the menopause and loss of libido:

“I'm finding sex is painful, and have suffered a dramatic reduction in my libido. I'm really embarrassed to discuss this with anyone. What can I do?”

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