Hey there and happy Sunday to you! It’s Menopause A-Z weekly blog time once again and this week we find ourselves at L and therefore we are primed to talk LOSS of LIBIDO (sex drive).
Once again, believe it or not, our friend Menopause can leave us (like our little doggies here) wanting to just snuggle up, have a good sleep and leave sex as just a distant and pleasant memory. However, as much as the snuggle moments are lovely, we can be left feeling like we are missing something that is so fundamental to our relationships as well as old and past it now that sexual desire is a thing of the past!!
Loss of libido is a common problem that affects many men and women at some point in their life and this can be particularly relevant for women experiencing a reduction in progesterone and testosterone as they move through the transition of Menopause.
Everyone’s sex drive is different and there’s no such thing as a “normal” libido and of course it might not be simply the hormonal changes that are the issue. Relationships can be tricky and sometimes the longevity of a relationship can result in sexual activity becoming a little stale and mundane. This of course can lead to a lack of interest and therefore a lack of sexual desire. Of course, there may be deeper seated issues within the relationship and often joint counselling can help to work through some of the issues that are leaving the libido a bit cold.
Now, if it is linked to Menopause, symptoms can make you less interested in sex generally because it is bringing a whole host of friends to the party, including:
vaginal dryness and tightness
Oh yeah…..are you feeling sexy??!!
If the root of the problem is due to hormone reduction, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can do wonders and Testosterone in particular can now be prescribed for low libido. You will find that female Testosterone is not available on NHS prescription in the UK but can be purchased through private practice Consultants. However, the male version of Testosterone is available on prescription and is just administered as a lower dose than if it were being used by a man, giving the same results as the female version.
In addition, there are supplements and herbal remedies that might bring some benefits, however there are a plethora of options, and it is always best to do your research and find what is best for you.
Now, as with so many things, stress, anxiety, and depression can make the desire to have sex even less likely and as always, can lead to yet another cycle that you can find yourself in. So your hormones are being a bit tricky and your libido drops a little……but your other half starts feeling a little abandoned. All you can think of is snuggling up and reading your book….a few arguments start to creep in and suddenly the relationship is feeling strained. Your stress levels start to rise, you are feeling a bit pressured to ‘perform’ but you really are not in the mood. You start to feel anxious and start asking “what’s happened to you, you used to be up for it….I feel so old, fat and miserable!!”
As soon as you start with those negative seeds, planting those in your primitive mind, so the stress cycle continues and the primitive brain is merrily catastrophising the situation and dropping all of those unwanted emotional responses into your stress bucket. A full stress bucket and a primitive brain on red alert always makes us see things from the worst possible perspective. In this cycle it is impossible to be in our rational, intellectual mind and before we know it we can be struggling through the day.
Now, you know by now that working on emptying that stress bucket using hypnotherapy, (which processes all of the emotional, negative responses) and focusing on your goals through psychotherapy in a Solution Focused way, can support you moving out of that primitive brain.
Hormone changes can be the catalyst to so many problems but often it is the primitive brain taking control of us that causes the on-going, long-term issues. Focusing on getting into and staying in that Intellectual brain is the key to changing the negative patterns and behaviors that have become embedded. New, positive neural pathways can create a whole new pattern and bring back that desire, letting you live you best life!