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Testosterone and oestrogen loss after menopause may cause changes in the sexual drive and body. Postmenopausal women might notice a loss of sexual interest and may respond less to stroking and touching. That may lead to decreased libido. Lower oestrogen levels can lead to reduced blood flow in the vagina. That may adversely affect lubrication in the vagina. Vaginal dryness during or after menopause can be successfully treated by using water based lubrication.
Lubricants which aren’t water soluble may weaken the latex in condoms. Until ovulation stops and the doctor confirms it, condoms are a must. Other kinds of lubricants make the vagina susceptible to bacterial growth. Consult your doctor regarding vaginal oestrogen-therapy.
Intimacy may take some time at the onset of menopause and isn’t something to get worried about. Counselling may not be required and the sex drive may get restored with time. It is important to build on intimacy during this period. Refrain from having intercourse if it makes you uncomfortable. Intimacy doesn’t have to always involve sex. Affection and love can be expressed in many other ways.
Here are a few tips to better intimacy without having sex:
- Bond over erotic literature and videos and masturbation.
- Relax and spend time with each other. Indulge in non-sexual acts like gym, television, videos and music.
- Try new foreplay techniques. Such activities improve communication and can increase comfort levels between your partner and you. Oral sex and body massages are great starting points. Remember that the point of foreplay isn’t always sex.
Be frank when discussing your sexual problems with your doctor, even though talking about them may be hard. If need be, then your doctor might refer both your partner and you to a medical professional specialising in sexual problems and ailments. The therapist might further recommend group or individual sexual counselling. Counselling with your partner is especially beneficial as it helps both of you to cope better with whatever your individual ailments may be. Counseling of this kind is very helpful even if it’s for a short while.
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It is common belief that people are highly interested in sex. However, this is not true. There are a lot of reasons which can reduce this sexual drive, known as libido. The reasons and therefore the causes are slightly different in men and in women. Read on to know some of the most common causes of reduced arousal in men and women and how to deal with it.
Causes of reduced arousal in men:
• Physiologically, sex is greatly influenced by the sex hormones and with age, as there is a gradual decline in the amount of these hormones in circulation, the sex drive also takes a dip. This need not be the case though.
• Stressed relationships is extremely common and though hormones have a big role to play, the mind is equally if not more important. If the couples are not happy, there is going to be no sex. As plain as that!
• Excessive smoking can reduce a person’s sexual arousal and even affect performance.
• Prescription medicines, lack of exercise, anxiety and depression are other causes that also reduce sexual desire.
• Testosterone replacement therapy in males is often used to boost sexual drive.
• Lifestyle changes including regular exercise, quitting or controlled smoking, stress management, healthy relationships can go a long way in improving sexual performance.
• If there are medications that are affecting the sexual drive, talk to your doctor and switch to an alternative.
• Counselling where the partner is also involved also is very important.
Women: The causes for low sexual drive in females is very different from men.
• Cultural differences: The cultural background and upbringing contribute in a big way to how responsive a person is. When it comes to sex, we as a country are still not very frank and open, and so there could be a perceived lack of desire. This is of course in the initial stages of a relationship and given some time, things would change.
• Relationship issues: Stressed relationships are definitely a big no-no for a physical relationship. Happy relationships definitely invite a lot more intimacy between the couple.
• Hormones: Testosterone which is present in both males and females affects sexual drive in women also. This hormone also gradually reduces over age, and causes some loss of libido.
• Medical problems: Depression, anxiety, endometriosis, fibroids, thyroid issues also affect a woman’s drive.
In managing this issue in women, psychology takes over a bigger role. Talking to the woman first and if required the partner helps in solving the issues in most women. Medical conditions, if present, should be corrected to address this issue. Hormone replacement and medication substitution also may be helpful if required. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.