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Perimenopause And Low Sexual Desire

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Perimenopause is described as the period before a woman reaches menopause, and usually, take a couple of years - four years on average. Note that the perimenopause period may differ from one woman to another. For some, it may last for years, while for others just a few months. It may begin anywhere after 35 years. During this period, a woman begins to experience the most common symptoms of menopause. Since perimenopause happens when a woman still has her monthly periods, it may be a period characterized by a lot of confusion.

The fluctuations of hormones during the perimenopause stage may lead to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, weight gain, and increased headaches. Other symptoms of perimenopause include vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, increased PMS, hot flushes, night sweats and changing periods regarding the duration of the period or the cycle length. Decreased sex drive is yet another symptom of perimenopause.

Women find it not only disappointing but also frustrating especially when it is interfering with a person's relationship. It may take a while before a woman realizes what is happening to her body especially because this stage comes several years before menopause. Thankfully, your doctor can help you determine if you are entering the perimenopause phase of your life by conducting several tests.

So, what is the relationship between perimenopause stage and sex drive?

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Among the major causes of low libido during the perimenopause stage is a dip in progesterone – a hormone linked to ovulation. The majority of women – in the absence of any physical problems – experience a surge in sex drive around the ovulation time due to increased levels of progesterone. So the problem comes in when ovulation stops being consistent due to perimenopause. A woman begins to experience anovulatory cycles where they have menses, but they don’t ovulate. Therefore, the absence of ovulation means that the progesterone levels do not rise. This, in turn, translates to diminished interest in sex and libido.

Perimenopause is also characterized by lower levels of estrogen than before hitting this stage. When the amount of estrogen being produced by the body is low, a woman stops feeling the same pleasure from both physical touch and sexual intercourse. Besides, estrogen is responsible for putting you in the mood for sex. Further, the absence of sufficient amounts of estrogen may lead to vaginal dryness and the thinning of the vaginal tissue which makes sex not only uncomfortable but also painful for a good number of women. Painful sex is never pleasurable. It makes a woman disinterred in sex, and this has the potential to kill her sexual desire.

Imbalance in testosterone

Testosterone is mostly thought of as a male hormone. However, women also have but in lower quantities. When a woman enters perimenopause, the levels of testosterone reduces even more. Also known as a sex hormone, testosterone plays a significant role in a woman’s sex drive. As such, significantly lower levels means that her sex drive also takes a drop. Testosterone is also fundamental to vaginal lubrication, and just like estrogen, reduced levels leads to vaginal dryness which causes discomfort or pain during sex.

Perimenopause is obviously enough grief. So, when you bring in the struggles of low sex drive, the situation could become unbearable. Do not let the situation get out of hand. Speak to your doctor to help you understand how to deal with this change. Also, consider losing weight, eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical exercises. Your doctor may also recommend hormone replacement therapy that involves the use of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone creams.

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