Dear ,
Meet Susan. She is a 56 year old, professional woman who has finally come to terms with her hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia and made peace with her mood swings, presenting to my office declaring, “my libido has completely disappeared”.

Susan is not joking and she is not alone. Every day, women at all ages and stages of life get up enough nerve to book an appointment. Some drag along a faltering, speculative and, yet, willing partner while others arrive cautiously unaccompanied.

For each, there is a different answer to the hide-and-seek game of where libido has vanished but there are some underlying principles to consider.

Women's sexual dysfunction: Revised and expanded definitions - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed 22 Jul, 2021]
Sexual desire, once thought to be spontaneous, unplanned and at-the-ready, is now understood to be far more complex and multifaceted, especially for women and even more-so for menopausal women. Have a look at the schemata by Dr. Rosemary Basson above.

This model, a convoluted re-make of Masters and Johnson’s linear diagram from the 1960’s, more accurately illustrates how complex women really are. Sexual response is intricate, non-sequential, overlapping and heavily involves mental and emotional components.  

Want to learn more about how cognition and motivation are tied to innate biological sexual drive and desire? Join us for
Meaningful Menopause where all your answer will be answered—coming virtually to a device near you this fall!

Postmenopausal Sexual Health Issues: Desire & Pain

In this video, Dr. Marla Shapiro and Dr. Sheryl Kingsberg discuss the two most common (and least discussed) postmenopausal sexual health issues...loss of desire and sexual pain.

Here are some takeaways:
  • You should still share your sexual health concerns with your healthcare provider, even if they aren't specifically asking! Most healthcare providers rush through appointments out of necessity and can't possibly ask ALL the questions you need answered - be your own advocate.
  • Sexual pain related to menopause will not go away on its own and will get worse if not treated - it's related to changes in the vaginal skin.
  • Local estrogen applied directly to the dry vagina is a safe way to get estrogen to the vaginal skin while not elevating estrogen throughout the body (there is also an oral medication that is NOT estrogen and works to soothe the vagina).
  • Biological changes affect can still have a physical sexual response, but "the wanting" is missing—there are now non-hormonal options to treat this imbalance.

Want to know more? I'm always happy to answer questions about post menopausal sexual health and share more literature—just shoot me a message!
Are there specific foods that can increase libido, such as oysters?

"No food has been proven to increase libido. But a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods helps by increasing your circulation, opening up blood vessels and making you strong and flexible." (EverydayHealth)

These foods include:

Lean Meat
Green Tea
Dark Chocolate

Join the Meaningful Menopause waitlist for more ways to manage a decreased libido!

Have a joy-filled and peaceful weekend,

Catherine Hansen MD, MPH
Founder Empowered Women's Circle
Obstetrician/ Gynecologist
NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner
Certified Feminine Power Transformational Leader, Coach & Facilitator
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Content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical or mental health condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.

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