Menopause & Low Libido: Are They Connected?

Menopause & Low Libido: Are They Connected?

The desire for lovemaking usually (but not always) wanes with age. Don't feel guilty that you’re no longer interested in sexual intimacy with your loved one.

Reduced sex drive becomes more common in women starting in their late 40s and early 50s. The effect of ageing differs across individuals, however: some women experience a significant decrease in sexual desire beginning in midlife, while others notice no change at all. A few others even report increased interest in sex during this period!

During the transition to menopause, falling oestrogen levels and its associated symptoms (hot flushes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness) can undermine sexual motivation and drive for some women. Although not directly related to menopause, the age-related decrease in testosterone may also reduce libido as this hormone plays a critical role in female sex drive and sensation. Also, some women who undergo abrupt menopause suffer a greater reduction in sexual desire than those who experience natural menopause. Abrupt menopause is caused by the removal of both ovaries or chemotherapy and leads to an immediate drop in both oestrogen and testosterone.

A gradual decline in sexual desire doesn’t pose a problem for some women; however, for others, it can be a source of distress. Decreased sex drive can trigger guilt feelings on the part of the woman. It may also frustrate her partner, create tension, and weaken their relationship.

Low libido is a complicated and touchy issue for many healthy individuals. For this reason, it is vital to understand both the physical and psychological factors that cause these changes in sexual desire.

Physical issues that can cause low libido include low testosterone, prescription medicines, too little or too much exercise, and alcohol and drug use. Psychological issues can include depression, stress, and problems in your relationship. It is important to address the underlying reasons for the loss of interest in sexual activity if it is starting to bother you.

Possible reasons for low libido
  • Stress, emotional trauma, neurologic conditions, psychological conditions (worry, guilt)
  • Side-effects of pharmaceutical medications
  • Substance abuse (recreational drugs, alcohol)
  • Low energy levels, fatigue
  • Poor kidney vitality
  • Fitness levels, obesity, weight gain
  • Hormone imbalances (androgens, testosterone, prostate health, male menopause)
  • Heart disease (vascular diseases, heart attack, stroke)
  • Endocrine disorders (diabetes and hormonal imbalances)
  • Recent surgery or trauma
Lifestyle changes that can improve your libido
  • Reduce smoking and alcohol intake.
  • Manage stress and lose weight if you need to.
  • Support the health of the kidneys and adrenals. Healthy and balanced kidney energy underpins strong sexual vitality. Enhancing kidney energy may help to improve sexual desire and boost physical performance.
  • Consider acupuncture to promote circulation and invigorate the Qi (energy) to the pelvic area and reproductive organs.