Is Menopause Really to Blame for Low Sex Drive in Older Women?

Menopause can be a difficult time for women. Apart from the cessation of periods, which marking the end of their reproductive years, the hormonal fluctuation can reek a havoc on their bodies, from hot flashes and mood swings to sleeplessness and even lowered libido.

But contrary to popular belief, low libido experienced by elderly women need not just be a result of menopause, according to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

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The Study shows that 40% of women over the age of 60 experience low libido with 10% reported being bothered by it.

The result of the study seemed to suggest that other issues indirectly linked to menopause including socio-cultural factors such as body image, post-menopausal depression and even sexual dysfunction in their male partners could be key contributing factors, reported News Medical Life Sciences.

Dr. Holly Thomas, assistant professor of medicine at Pittsburgh and lead author of the study“If a woman is having sexual problems, what’s going on with her partner may be contributing. Sex doesn’t occur in a vacuum.”

"As women, we're encouraged to be accommodating, so we learn to tamp down our own needs and desires, and prioritize those of others,” Thomas added.

Post menopausal symptoms such as loss of bladder control, dry vagina, mood swings and body image issues could make a woman less inclined to having sex.

Moreover, mental and physical fatigue, depression and stress can also lead to disinterest in sex.

The researchers concluded by stating that as things stand, a deeper study is needed on the lack of libido in menopausal women and its causes instead of just writing it off as a symptom of menopause.

(Written with inputs from News Medical)

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