There are 2 things that I talk about all day every day – one is menopausal weight gain and the other is low libido and the two can be connected in that if you are not feeling confident, or are feeling uncomfortable in your body, that is going to affect how you function as a sexual being. And so yes, low libido is more than just a loss of oestrogen. It can be multifaceted and in this blog/video, I will talk through some of the things affecting libido and give you 8 tips to boost libido in menopause.
Addressing Low Libido During Menopause: 8 Empowering Tips
Tip 1: Stress Reduction
Understanding libido is all about understanding the brain. Sex, as far as the brain is concerned, is all about procreation – having a baby. And stress, as far as the brain is concerned, is a threat to life. And in order to preserve life when stressed, the brain switches or dampens down functions that are not critical to your survival. So, if your life is in danger, the last thing you want to do is have a baby – that is, your libido is switched off.
In menopause, because of those lower levels of oestrogen we naturally have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Managing our stress levels has to be a part of our daily routine, especially so for increasing libido.
Tip 2: Connection
We get to menopause and we have to start putting ourselves first and often, we don’t know where to start because we have been at the bottom of the ‘self-care’ pile for so long. We might have been mothers, or carers of elderly family members or focused on careers or all of the above. And we lose connection with ourselves. Similarly, we may have just been existing alongside our partner so we need to start reforming those connections.
Tip 3: Addressing Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)
GSM is a broad term for all the vagina, bladder and pelvic floor symptoms associated with the lower-oestrogen state. So it covers:
- vaginal dryness and loss of lubrication
- Burning, pain, irritation, itching or fissuring in the vulva
- Pain or bleeding with sex
- Painful urination
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Bladder urgency and stress incontinence
- Vaginal wall prolapse
These issues can put you off sex. If you struggle with any of this finding yourself a good pelvic health physiotherapist is essential.
Tip 4: Check your medications
Medications can cause loss of libido – the pill, certain blood pressure medications, anti-anxiety and anti-depressants, and seizure meds can all cause a loss of libido. If you are on medications, read the insert that comes with your meds, it will list the side effects – you might be surprised what you find on there.
Tip 5: Strength training
Strength training, which is the key exercise for menopause, can help boost libido by boosting testosterone levels. Women make small amounts of testosterone and it is responsible for libido, vitality and general vigour.
Tip 6: Maca
Maca is an ancient Peruvian superfood said to give you the virility of a horse, and it’s a phytoestrogen so naturally helps to balance oestrogen levels.
Tip 7: Nutrition
Focus on zinc-rich foods and those that enhance nitric oxide production.
Zinc-rich foods which help with testosterone production: oysters (known to be an aphrodisiac), grass-fed beef & lamb, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, avocado, almonds, and eggs.
Nitric oxide is essential for blood flow and particularly healthy blood flow to erectile tissue: beets, garlic, rocket (arugula), dark chocolate, citrus, and pomegranate.
Tip 8: Homeopathic Remedies
Sepia – for prolapse, leaky bladder, vaginal dryness and loss of libido – generally the emotional state is one of being indifferent, fed-up, irritable, and just wants to be left alone.
Nat-Mur – for aversion to sex which is painful from dryness as well as low sex drive since grief. This is a big grief remedy, and they become shut down, stoic, reserved and introverted.
There you have it, my 8 tips for addressing low libido during menopause. Remember, a holistic approach is key. It’s not just about supplements like zinc or maca; it’s about managing your overall health, from diet to stress. If you need guidance, check out my free download, ‘Thriving in the Menopause,’ for comprehensive support in this transformative journey.