The usual perimenopause signs and symptoms are there: an erratic menstrual cycle, night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, memory and concentration loss, hair loss (or growth), trouble sleeping at night, weight gain, etc. Unfortunately for you and your partner, perimenopause and libido go hand in hand as well.
There are two possible effects on a woman’s libido. It’s either you have a perimenopause increased libido, or you have a decreased one. If it’s the former and your partner are on the same level, then good for you. But if it’s the latter, then both of you would need to understand why it’s happening.
Your libido (and the other perimenopause symptoms) is due to a hormonal imbalance of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The less progesterone you produce, the more your libido decreases. If you miss an ovulation, then no progesterone has been made.
A loss of libido doesn’t always mean that it’s automatically connected to perimenopause. To find out for sure, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I taking prescription medicine? Sometimes, the medicine you are taking greatly affects your sex life. For example, antidepressants like Effexor or Prozac lowers libido and sexual function. See what medicine you have in your cabinet and ask your doctor of their effects.
2. Am I on hormonal birth control? Birth control pills suppress a woman’s ovulation. Therefore, it is no surprise that studies show decreased libido and lubrication during sexual intercourse.
3. Am I stressed out? Possibly the main factor on a losing or lessening sex drive is if you’re stressed out. If you have kids and work at the same time, then that’s completely understandable. Perhaps the best way is to talk to your partner to at least find a way to reduce some of your stress.
4. Am I depressed? Again, like stress, this is one big issue to consider. If you’re depressed and you’ve been to the doctor, he would most likely have given you antidepressants to calm you down. (See number 1.)
5. What do I eat? Diet also plays a big role here. Saturated fats in takeaways and fast food stores are part of the reason why a person loses the drive. Always eat healthy foods, organic even.
6. Do I get enough sleep? If you are one of the unfortunate women who have sleep apnea, then this is bad news for you. This respiratory disorder lowers a person’s sex drive. If you don’t have one but you still have a frustrating sex life, then analyze if you’re getting enough sleep. If you don’t sleep well enough, you will feel tired, thereby hindering you from doing anything else.
7. How is my relationship with my partner going? This is a major contributor. If you feel that there’s something wrong with your relationship, then open up as this is probably stressing you out. The lines of communication should always be wide open for you to better your commitment with one another.
Don’t agree to a hormone therapy right away. HRT should be the last one to be taken into consideration, as this poses serious health risks to you. If you’re bent on improving your sex life or at least the quality of it, try to research for other ways first. Ask your doctor, or try alternative medicine. Don’t take the advice of others in an instant – what works on them might not work on you.