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DOCTOR PERI: 'Where the hell is my sex drive, and will it ever come back?'

How much can Perimenopause impact (and by impact I mean kill) sex drive? I have always been very sexual but just in last 18 months it is almost nonexistent. I am 46 and it's concerning me as I have met someone awesome who I find extremely sexy and who I am hugely attracted to but I'm wondering where the hell my sex drive is, and will it ever come back?

Dr Peri says:

Research studies have consistently shown us that low libido, or sexual desire is the most common sexual function issue experienced by women.  

In one Australian study of over 2000 women aged 20-64 years, 66% of women reported at least one sexual function difficulty, with 50% reporting low libido.

Multiple factors can negatively impact libido, including age, mental health, general life stressors, relationship length, care of dependents, medications... and the list goes on.

But, when it comes to peri, it's fairly typical for a decreased sexual desire to come down to fluctuating hormones and fluctuating symptoms.

Interestingly, testosterone is at around half the level at 40 years of age to that of a 20-year-old female, and this is thought to be one of the main hormones associated with sexual desire. 

So... what should you do about it?

Well, there is no single answer to the challenge of low sex drive, but it’s important to seek education and advice from a women’s health expert who is knowledgeable in this area.  

Strategies that may be effective at getting you back in the sack, that are worth looking into include:

  • Vaginal oestrogen (if your issue is vaginal dryness)
  • Hormone therapy (which may include boosting testosterone levels)
  • Medication change (the ‘pill’ and many antidepressants can greatly reduce sexual desire)
  • Or, sexual counselling

For more information, you can check out some excellent resources below: 

Sexual difficulties in the menopause

Libido during perimenopause

Dr Sonia Davison MBBS FRACP PhD, is an Endocrinologist with a special interest in Women's Health. 

She is a Clinical Fellow at Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and has an adjunct appointment at the Women’s Health Research Program, Monash University, Victoria, Australia. 

Sonia is in private practice at the Melbourne Endocrine Clinic, Malvern, and at Jean Hailes for Women's Health. Sonia is Past President of the Australasian Menopause Society.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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