Your Guide to a Better Sex Life After Menopause
- Do Something Nice for Yourself
Getting into the right mind-set can do wonders. This may mean exercising, getting a good night's sleep and making time for intimacy. Try clearing a special space for intimacy away from the stresses of everyday life.
- Review Your Health History and Medications
Some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States have decreased sex drive as a side effect. These include common antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft, as well as blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers. In addition, corticosteroids and oral estrogen can decrease the levels of testosterone in the blood. If you are taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
- Consider Testosterone
There have been more than 20 prospective studies that have shown that testosterone improves sex drive. Interestingly, though, the FDA has not approved any medications for this use in women. For this reason, patients must get the testosterone from compounding pharmacies or use medications designed for men in lower doses. These are available in pill, patch and cream forms. The main risks associated with testosterone use in women are increased hair growth and acne. However, these risks are quite small and are reversible.
- Vaginal Estrogen
Vaginal dryness and subsequent painful intercourse can be treated with vaginal estrogen preparations. These can return the vaginal tissue to its premenopausal state, which is more elastic and less dry. They come in the form of creams or inserted tablets. It usually takes about six weeks before maximum benefit is obtained.
- Couples Therapy
Open dialogue with your partner, often guided by a therapist, can bring to the surface other issues that might be contributing to the problem, including stress within the relationship, self-image problems and guilt. A trained sex therapist can help with relaxation and communication techniques as well.
Dr. Yvonne Bohn, Dr. Allison Hill and Dr. Alane Park are "The Mommy Docs." While they are doctors, they’re also moms with six kids between them. They’ve welcomed more than 15,000 babies into the world. The Mommy Docs are featured in the TV series "Deliver Me" on the Discovery Health Channel. For more information on the Mommy Docs visit mommydocs.com.<br><br><b><I>
Join the Mommy Docs as they count down </I>The 10 Most Unbelievable Births <i>on Discovery Health, Friday, July 15 at 9pm e/p (encores at 11pm e/p and Sat 7/17 at 1pm e/p) </b></I><br><br>
Are you going through menopause and experiencing a loss of sex drive? What other issues are you facing? Share your comments with the Mommy Docs below!
Is hormone replacement therapy right for you?
The facts about menopause and perimenopause
Ask Dr. Northrup! No questions are off-limits