Sexual dysfunction in menopause

Sexual dysfunction in menopause means that sex life is not working properly. The loss of estrogen and testosterone following menopause can lead to changes in a woman’s body and sexual drive. While the number of potential causes of sexual problems during menopause can seem overwhelming, there are just as many strategies and treatments for overcoming them.

For most people, at least some aspects of sexuality decline with age, such as level of desire or frequency of sexual activity. There are many biologic and non-biologic reasons this happens, including a person’s general well-being and health, lifestyle, as well as interpersonal and psychosocial factors.

Treatment for many sexual problems often combines medications or devices with counseling (sex therapy) and/or self-help measures. Rarely does one problem have a single solution that won’t benefit from other treatments or actions. It’s also not uncommon for a woman to experience more than one type of sexual dysfunction, and therapies often overlap among various sexual problems.

What is sexual dysfunction?

In women in menopause, there is a problem with many different causes that are influenced by body, psychological, social and emotional factors. Sexual dysfunction in women is divided into four diagnostic groups:

#1 Desire problem
#2 Dryness problem
#3 Orgasm Problem
#4 Pain Problem

In order to diagnose it, it is required that you perceive the condition as a problem.

Sexual problems and reduced sexual desire occur frequently in women, the rate increases with age, and menopause has a negative influence on sexual life. Among sexually active women, the following numbers are reported for occurrence:

– Illness problems occur in 15-25% of women before menopause and in 40-55% post menopause
– Dryness in the vagina is reported in 10-15% before menopause and 25-30% after menopause. During and after menopause, vaginal dryness can be treated with water-soluble lubricants.
Orgasm problems in vomen occur at approx. 20% in all age groups with a tendency for increased incidence among the youngest women
– Painful intercourse occurs at approx. 5% of younger women, the rate increases with age, but the incidence varies between 12% and 45% among women after menopause

Also read: Sexuality when you get older

Causes of sexual dysfunction in menopause

It is not clear which factors of menopause that are due to the increased incidence of sexual dysfunction. Many factors affect sex life. Frequent explanations are changes in the woman’s general state of health, hormonal changes, previous sexual function, partner’s erection problems, changes in life and relationships, the woman’s expectation of sexual life in menopause and acceptance of bodily and psychological changes.

When menstruation ceases, a rapid drop in estrogen levels occurs in the body, whereas from the age of 25 there is a gradual decline in the level of male hormones (androgens, women also have a small amount of male hormones). The low estrogen level after menopause causes thinner and dry mucosa in the vagina, which can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse. The significance of the hormones for other changes in the menopause of menopause is less elucidated in scientific studies. Fall in the estrogen level is associated with impaired sexual desire and impaired sexual response in the form of excitement, orgasm and pleasure.

Treatment of sexual dysfunction in menopause

Traditional treatment consists of sexological counseling and / or hormonal treatment. Selection of treatment is based on an individual assessment that emphasizes your subjective ailments, risk factors and root causes. Various medicines have undergone research assessments.

Estrogen in tablet form
If the addition of estrogen, possibly in combination with the hormone progesterone, helps against sexual dysfunction has been discussed for many years and remains a controversial topic. However, it is indisputable that estrogen in tablet form helps to prevent vaginal irritation, giving less dryness and pain in intercourse. There are studies that show beneficial effect also on the women’s sexual desire, orgasm rate and overall sexual pleasure. The disadvantage of estrogens is that the use of such agents over time increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Estrogen locally
May be given in the vagina in the form of cream or tablet. There is considerable local effect, but minimal effect on the body in general. The treatment improves the dryness of the skin and causes less pain in intercourse. Local tablet treatment clearly produces better effects than creams. None of the forms of treatment affect the sexual desire.

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