Menopause killed my libido

Menopause - how it impacts your health, your sexuality, and your life in general.
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Shulammite woman
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Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:50 am

My DH has always been the HD in our relationship, but I was never a refuser. I was generally a willing and enthusiastic partner, though we’ve had our share of natural ups and downs over the course of 31 years of marriage and 3 kids. Seven years ago, at age 47, I experienced a marked increase in my libido. It was a wonderful boost to our sex life, our drives were evenly matched, we were having great fun being creative and trying new things. :D

This, as it turned out, was the beginning of perimenopause. The libido spike lasted for about 6-9 months, then dropped off back to my old normal briefly, then plummeted to absolutely nothing. Besides never being horny, arousal doesn’t always happen during foreplay, when it does it’s very muted. And O is much more difficult to come by, about half the time when I used to O about 95%.

Over the last 5 ½ years, have talked about this with my PCP, an endocrinologist, two GYNs. Was prescribed testosterone cream for about a year with no improvement. Spent 15 months and $2,000 out of pocket under the care of a hormone specialist with BodyLogic MD doing bioidentical HRT. While that helped with other menopausal symptoms, it had zero effect on my zero drive.

I am fully post-menopause now at age 54 and my gyn tells me the death of my libido is the expected result. She says virtually all of her patients experience this at menopause, including herself. How can this be? Why isn’t there more talk about this? Is anyone trying to come up with the female version of Viagra?

I don’t know how to navigate this landscape. For about 3 years now, I’ve been functioning on intellectual and emotional “libido” but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain real enthusiasm. I feel like a vital and important part of me is missing. As I’ve explained to my very understanding and patient DH, it’s like trying to enjoy a favorite delicious meal when I never get hungry and my tastebuds are a bit numb.

Is there any help to be had? I still have a third of my life left and I don’t want to believe it has to be this way. I HATE menopause!!! :evil: I’m curious about what other post-menopausal TMB gals have experienced and would welcome advice and commiseration.
SW, who is challenged by this statement: Your husband's sex life with you is the only legitimate one he has; what are YOU doing to make it the best it can be?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby librarian » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:01 am

Shulammite woman wrote:
I am fully post-menopause now at age 54 and my gyn tells me the death of my libido is the expected result. She says virtually all of her patients experience this at menopause, including herself. How can this be? Why isn’t there more talk about this? Is anyone trying to come up with the female version of Viagra?


This doesn't sound right. My DW, at 60, is many years menopausal, and she says that with what we are doing now, she is having the best sex of her life. She desires it, she looks forward to it, and when we ML, she is completely into it, experiencing multiple Os. As you said, you have 1/3 of your life ahead of you, and it should not be devoid of intimate pleasure with your DH. Something is wrong with this doctor. While I have nothing I can say that would help you in your condition, I would encourage you to cast a wider net in looking for a solution. I'm sure others others on this board will be able to come along side of you to help you in finding a solution.
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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Leah » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Shulammite woman wrote:I am fully post-menopause now at age 54 and my gyn tells me the death of my libido is the expected result. She says virtually all of her patients experience this at menopause, including herself. How can this be? Why isn’t there more talk about this? Is anyone trying to come up with the female version of Viagra?

================

Is there any help to be had? I still have a third of my life left and I don’t want to believe it has to be this way. I HATE menopause!!! :evil: I’m curious about what other post-menopausal TMB gals have experienced and would welcome advice and commiseration.


Your doctor never met me. My sex drive has been unaffected by birth control, pregnancy (except for about two weeks), or menopause (confirmed in blood work). If anything, I've experienced a little bit of an uptick. I never did HRT other than the nutritional supplement in my vitamin pack.
Leah

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby blushingwife » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:42 pm

Maybe your doctor says that because HER drive never came back?
At any rate, that's nonsense!
Ask my mom and all the women in my family. If anything, their drive became higher after menopause.

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Gemma » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:45 pm

Shulammite woman wrote: I am fully post-menopause now at age 54 and my gyn tells me the death of my libido is the expected result. She says virtually all of her patients experience this at menopause, including herself. How can this be?..... I’m curious about what other post-menopausal TMB gals have experienced and would welcome advice and commiseration.


I've been fully post-menopausal since I was 40, almost 15 years ago. In the last 5 years my SD has gone through the roof.

What are your GYN's views regarding sex? Does she speak about it in a positive or a negative way? Perhaps it's time to find a new GYN?
Gemma~ refuser for 25yrs, awakened since Dec 2006!
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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:37 pm

She's pretty positive about sex and I think I've done a decent job of communicating how important this is to me. I made an appt with her last month solely to discuss this. Toward the end of our conversation, I asked her what percentage of women in her experience/practice have this issue with menopause. I was expecting her to say maybe 15 to 20%. When she said pretty much all of them, my jaw dropped and I went into a state of semi-shock. My mind was reeling. I don't think I processed anything after that.

Other than this issue she has been such a great doctor, very personable and caring. Extremely competent with every other aspect of care. I don't want to switch, but I certainly would if I thought I could get better answers elsewhere. But it seems to me the answer must be in the hormones, and I feel like I've exhausted that avenue already without results. :?
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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby CLA » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:35 pm

Shulamite woman,
My wife experinced the same drastic drop in libido as you did with menopause and from what I hear that is pretty typical. There are obviously exceptions, of course. As a man about your age I have noticed that I probably have less testosterone coursing through me than I used to, but at least for us guys the drop off is much more gradual.

I think that sex at our age for a lot of us has to be more mental than it used to be since our bodies aren't giving us the juice that we used to have. So we have to rely more on the sexual imprint on our brains more. Ie, we want it because we are used to having it but we don't feel the same physical desires that we used to and to some extent we are "going through the motions." But going through the motions often enough can sometimes improve things. So if you can O half the time I suspect you are doing better than a lot of post menopausal women, especially those that aren't on HRT.

I don't want to minimize what you are going through though. It has been a real battle for us and a tremendous strain on our marriage. Despite my age, I am still HD and I have had to adjust to a much different sex life than I would like to still have. Just keep trying. I appreciate my wife's efforts to do something that she doesn't have the physical desire to do anymore, but she keeps trying. And she has gotten better. She doesn't O as much as you do, but for several years it was pretty much zero. But she kept at it, I think that it may be a lifetime effort. Maybe if you keep trying you can get closer to what you would like.

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:06 am

I definitely won't give up on it. 10 or 15 years ago, I might not have had as much resolve about it as I do now. Back then, I did not fully understand the significance and impact of a good sex life in marriage. But because of books like "For Women Only" and "Intimate Issues," and time spent here on TMB, and that brief libido spike I experienced, I now know how important and beneficial it is. It's just hard coping with how different it is now. There are many nights when after making love, I leave the bed and my sleeping DH and go downstairs to cry.
SW, who is challenged by this statement: Your husband's sex life with you is the only legitimate one he has; what are YOU doing to make it the best it can be?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby MrsMcHott » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:15 pm

Shulammite woman, :wave

Have you read any of Dr Christiane Northrup's books? I am still perimenopausal but her book The Wisdom of Menopause has been great help to me with the physical changes as well as with the "mind-body" aspects. She discusses so many things that have hit home for me. I also occasionally use natural progesterone cream and soy supplements per her suggestion. I'm in a roller coaster stage where each month (and the days within each month) are something different. But we are rolling with it...

There are many nights when after making love, I leave the bed and my sleeping DH and go downstairs to cry.


This is heartbreaking :( Where's the hug emoticon? Hang in there - I'm going to keep a check on this thread. ::pray
Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness. ~ Shall We Dance?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:53 pm

Mrs. McHott!!! How nice to see you again! :wave (BTW, did I ever thank you for introducing me to TMB? :wink: )

I've read T.S. Wiley and Suzanne Somers and a couple of others I can't remember now. I think Northrup's book might have been in my stack from the library at one point, but I may have only skimmed it. I'll check that one out again. When I was doing all that research a couple of years ago, I really focused on all the information about bio-HRT. I was convinced that would be the ticket, but sadly I did not get anywhere near the result I was hoping for. I don't think there are many doctors out there willing to be as aggressive as what Wiley and Somers advocate.

When I was in the midst of that glorious libido spike, had I known then what I know now, I would have had all my hormone levels tested as a baseline for what to shoot for later. That is what I will advise my DDs to do when they head into their mid-life phase.

Thanks for the virtual hug!
SW, who is challenged by this statement: Your husband's sex life with you is the only legitimate one he has; what are YOU doing to make it the best it can be?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby MrsMcHott » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:42 pm

Shulammite woman wrote: Toward the end of our conversation, I asked her what percentage of women in her experience/practice have this issue with menopause. I was expecting her to say maybe 15 to 20%. When she said pretty much all of them, my jaw dropped and I went into a state of semi-shock. My mind was reeling.


More thoughts...I think your Dr. speaks the truth. Dr. Northrup talks about how we do such a terrible job of overcoming what menopause throws at most of us. Hormone levels change - we can't control that but we can control other aspects of our sexuality.

I highlighted and starred this quote from her book: "For most women, sexual desire is related to far more than the estrogenic state of the vagina. Female sexual response is related to a woman's total being: emotional, psychological, and spiritual, in addition to physical and hormonal. And we are profoundly affected by touch, taste, and smell as well as emotions. All are part of our sexuality."
Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness. ~ Shall We Dance?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby ledgemoor » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:53 pm

I just don't buy that low libido is a normal condition for post-menopausal women.

DW's libido, if anything, went up after menopause. Then she had a hysterectomy and that wrecked everything, but bHRT revived it. It took about a year to get the dosages worked out, but she is fine now, and her libido is great. My mom never slowed down after menopause, although eventually did get bHRT.

It might be good to compare dosages and test results with other women for whom bHRT is working. Estrodial, Estriol, Progesterone, and Testerone are all important.

DW is also taking T3, DHEA, B-complex, Vitimin D, DIM as well as multivitimin, Zinc, & Copper. Her doctor isn't a pill pusher -- she isn't taking all this because it might be good for her -- tests revealed that she was low in DHEA, B, D, & T3, and the rest regulates testosterone processing. Some people need additional cortisol, and I don't know what all else. DW's doctor has also discussed giving her Oxytocin -- that is turning out to be important for sexual response. If your bHRT doctor didn't test all these things, there is still a lot of things to try.

Be wary of Wiley and Suzanne Summers. Wiley is not an MD, and she advocates mimicing the hormone levels and cycles of a young woman. Too much hormone supplimentation can be worse than none at all. You get too much testosterone, for example, it gets converted to estrogen, and you're more out of whack then when you started.

Don't give up!
Last edited by ledgemoor on Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:57 am

Shulammite woman wrote:And O is much more difficult to come by, about half the time when I used to O about 95%.



In the interest of painting a more accurate picture, I should clarify that statement. These days, about 50% of our sexual encounters are, by mutual agreement, for DH only. I know going in it would be too much work for a negative result, so we just focus on pleasuring DH. It's still a positive and loving thing and I am very happy to accommodate him. The times when we do make it for both of us, O happens for me only about half the time. And about half of those times I need the additional help of my Eroscillator.

So do the math and it comes down to DH alone bringing me to O about 12.5 %. This whole thing has been quite a blow for him, too. (Sounds like CLA and ledgemoor can relate to how DHs are affected.) I think I could take all of this more in stride if I was the only one being impacted. But of course, I'm not. And that just adds to the sadness and depression for me.
SW, who is challenged by this statement: Your husband's sex life with you is the only legitimate one he has; what are YOU doing to make it the best it can be?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby ledgemoor » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:37 pm

Ok, if you look at it that way, my DW only Os 50% of the time -- as about half of our sessions are also charity sex for me. It's been that way our whole marriage. But that's fine. She enjoys doing it. And on the flip side, it takes about 15 minutes for charity sex for me, but It might take an hour to get there when she wants one (which I thorougly love doing too). So not that it matters, but timewise, it evens out.

When she needed one, and we couldn't make it happen, it's was ery frustrating for her. And me too -- she is a lot more fun to be around when she is satisfied. And I miss the intimacy that comes from her Os. I don't hide my disappointment from her, but I do let he know it isn't her fault, and she shouldn't worry about how I feel. Performance anxiety isn't going to help anyone. It's just one of those things, and like every thing else, we got thru it.
Last edited by ledgemoor on Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby CLA » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:47 pm

You are right, it does impact the partner. But, I am ok as long as I know that she is still trying. It was when it went for years that she didn't try at all that things really got rough for me. I miss the days when sex in all aspects was easy for her, as it still is for me. And sometimes I know that it would be too much for her to even try to have an O and I can accept that as long as it doesn't become that way every time. I am perfectly fine if she needs some mechanical assistance. I just look at it as a new aspect of our sexuality and I can really enjoy it. I hope that this helps you in your struggles.

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:46 pm

MrsMcHott wrote:Have you read any of Dr Christiane Northrup's books? I am still perimenopausal but her book The Wisdom of Menopause has been great help to me with the physical changes as well as with the "mind-body" aspects. She discusses so many things that have hit home for me.


Shulammite woman wrote: I think Northrup's book might have been in my stack from the library at one point, but I may have only skimmed it. I'll check that one out again.


Picked this book up from the library last week, started reading over the weekend. Now I remember why I didn’t give it much attention before. Northrup is into a lot of new-agey stuff. She consults psychics, astrologers, tarot cards, etc. I was trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, but I just can’t get past gems like this from page 292:

“Remember, the vibrational quality of our thoughts creates a magnetic field around us that attracts our circumstances to us.” :roll:

And this, from page 279, really steamed me:

“The number one predictor of good libido at menopause is a new sexual partner.” :evil:

Even aside from all of that, she just is not resonating with me in other ways. What I’m experiencing right now doesn’t fit into any of the theories or anecdotes she is positing.

Mrs. McHott, I’m glad you were able to glean helpful information from Northrup, but I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to continue with this book. (Is there a shoulder shrug emoticon?)
SW, who is challenged by this statement: Your husband's sex life with you is the only legitimate one he has; what are YOU doing to make it the best it can be?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby manygoodyears » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:15 pm

While we all love hearing stories about women whose libido didn't drop after menopause, I think the research bears out that, if not "normal", a drop in libido after menopause is at least very common. I'll paste in a couple of references at the end for those wishing to pursue this further.

However, just because the libido drop is common doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be fought against when it occurs.

--
Are changes in sexual functioning during midlife due to aging or menopause?
Lorraine Dennerstein, Emma Dudley, Henry Burger

Fertility and sterility 1 September 2001 (volume 76 issue 3 Pages 456-460)


Hormones, mood, sexuality, and the menopausal transition
Lorraine Dennerstein, John Randolph, John Taffe, Emma Dudley, Henry Burger

Fertility and sterility 1 April 2002 (volume 77 issue Pages 42-48)

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby MrsMcHott » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:01 am

Shulammite woman wrote: I’m glad you were able to glean helpful information from Northrup, but I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to continue with this book. (Is there a shoulder shrug emoticon?)


I'm sorry the book wasn't helpful to you SW. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope that you can find some answers.
Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness. ~ Shall We Dance?

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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Shulammite woman » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:08 pm

It's been a few months since I first started this thread. I'm having a particularly bad night tonight. I participated fully in a lovemaking session with DH, but I was completely unresponsive physically. Nevertheless, I was an enthusiastic partner, wanting to give my DH the best possible experience. I'm sure he didn't know how much I was struggling. Of course, I'm trying to hide that as much as I can. Why should he suffer from my lack of libido and response?

As hard as it is on me, I don't want to impose the same negativity on him. (I'm afraid a completely honest revealing of my state would totally devastate him.) But in our cuddling in the aftermath, I was struggling to control my tears, swallow my sobs. I was mostly successful, he only noticed a bit of sniffling, asked if I had a runny nose. To which I replied, "a little bit." He's sleeping peacefully now, and I am sitting here wondering how much longer I can successfully hide how much menopause has impacted and changed me. I HATE MENOPAUSE!! :evil:
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Re: Menopause killed my libido

Postby Exuberance » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:52 am

::bh Praying for you.


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