Menopause is a natural condition that all women experience as they age. This typically occurs between 45 and 55 years old. It is defined as having occurred when a woman has not had any vaginal bleeding for a year. Women experience a wide range of symptoms including hot flashes, palpitations, sweating, vaginal dryness, memory loss, fatigue, insomnia, low sex drive, depression and painful sex. The severity of symptoms varies between women. For some women the symptoms are severe and for others it is barely noticeable. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to relieve these symptoms.
Menopause puts a woman’s body in flux in many ways. The hormones that have been regulating your reproductive cycle, sex drive, mood and more are ebbing and very often these low levels of hormones have a negative effect on your sex life. Reduced levels of estrogen, testosterone and other hormones are a primary cause of age-related female sexual dysfunction.
How Female Hormones Affect Sexuality
Hormones are chemicals produced by your glands and organs that act as messengers throughout your body. Different hormones control a wide array of essential body functions, including energy level, growth and development and reproduction.
The Following Hormones Are Partially Responsible for Controlling a Woman’s Sex Drive:
Estrogen is the primary female hormone. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle, control the development of female sex organs and thickens the lining of the uterus to support pregnancy. As a woman approaches menopause her levels of estrogen decrease dramatically. When the estrogen levels are so low women can experience vaginal dryness that can lead to painful intercourse.
Testosterone is primarily thought of as a male hormone but it is also made by and important to women. The ovaries are responsible for the production of testosterone, which is needed to make estrogen. High levels of testosterone are associated with increased sexual desire. Testosterone levels decline in women after menopause and contribute to a reduction of arousal and sexual response.
Progesterone is another female hormone that controls the menstrual cycle and supports pregnancy. Levels of progesterone also decline as women reach menopause and contribute to a reduction in sexual behavior.