Did you know that changes in libido are one of the most common issues older women face? This issue is related to a drop in the production of estrogen, a key hormone for maintaining sexual function in women.
Fortunately, you don’t need to let menopause undermine your sexual wellness. The team of board-certified physicians at Integrative Primary Care in Katy, Texas, specializes in helping women in the Houston area enjoy a healthy sex life at every age.
Keep reading to learn more about the effects of menopause on your sexual health and how our compassionate, patient-centered sexual dysfunction care can help restore your libido.
How menopause affects sexual health
During perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, your estrogen levels drop significantly. This causes your vaginal tissues to change.
Estrogen keeps your vaginal skin thick, moist, and elastic. When your ovaries produce less estrogen, you can develop vaginal laxity (looseness) and dryness. As a result, sex can become less pleasurable, or even painful.
During perimenopause and menopause, your other sex hormone levels change, including a drop in progesterone and testosterone. Together, these changes can affect your sex drive, reducing your libido.
A reduction in sex hormones also influences your metabolism, appetite, and stress levels, which can lead to weight gain, low energy, and exhaustion. When you’re not feeling good about yourself and feel tired or stressed, it’s harder to get excited about sex.
And these hormonal changes can also cause irritating or debilitating symptoms that interrupt your sleep, including:
- Night sweats
- Racing thoughts
- Mood swings
- Frequent bathroom trips
The result can be that it’s difficult to get consistent sleep, let alone the 7-8 hours your body needs to function well. And when your body is craving rest, it isn’t focused on sexual pleasure.
Staying sexually healthy through menopause
Women in menopause struggle with sexual wellness for different reasons, so a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t the best approach. For the most relevant information and customized recommendations for staying sexually healthy through menopause, it’s best to speak with your medical provider.
At Integrative Primary Care, your provider evaluates your medical history, current health, symptoms, personal preferences, and goals. Then, they conduct a physical exam and any necessary testing to create a personalized sexual dysfunction treatment tailored to your needs.
For most women, lifestyle changes can help minimize the symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Your provider can suggest the most effective lifestyle changes, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a nutrient-rich, balanced diet
- Increasing physical activity
- Avoiding drugs, nicotine, and alcohol
- Practicing healthy sleep habits
- Meditation and other stress management techniques
In some cases, these steps can be enough to manage your symptoms. Some women may need to incorporate additional therapies in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes, like using vaginal moisturizers, lubricants, or hormone replacement therapy.
Interested in learning how you can maintain your sexual health through menopause? Talk to a provider at Integrative Primary Care today by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at our Katy, Texas, office.