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Low Libido

It is quite common to lose interest in sex every now and again, especially during times of stress or after childbirth. However, if you don't regain your desire, you may be suffering from what is termed female sexual dysfunction or low libido. This can frequently happen as a result of medical or surgical menopause.

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What is low libido?

Medical surveys reveal that approximately 43% of all adult women suffer from what specialists consider various forms of sexual dysfunction. The definition given by specialists to female sexual dysfunction (FSD) includes a loss of interest in sex, less enjoyable sex, diminished sensation and inability to achieve orgasm. The problem is not purely mechanical, but a interaction of psychological, hormonal and possibly physiological factors.

Why does it happen?

There are a number of reasons why someone may initially go off sex. For some, the problem may be the result of negative thoughts or feelings or relationship problems. But there is also considerable evidence that testosterone changes in women due to medical or surgical menopause can decrease sex drive.

While most women ' s bodies naturally create testosterone, certain women ' s levels are depleted due to aging or surgery. This depletion causes menopausal symptoms that are related to the sex drive and cause a marked lack of interest, as well as other physical problems.

About menopause ?

The menopause or 'change of life' usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. When it happens before the age of 40, it is called premature menopause.

At the menopause the ovaries stop producing eggs and the female hormone oestrogen. The lack of this hormone can cause a variety of problems including

•  Low libido

•  Vaginal dryness

•  Fatigue and tiredness

•  Mood swings

•  Hot flushes

•  Night sweats

•  Insomnia

Low Libido Treatments Available

While it is not possible to stop menopause, there are treatments available for the troublesome symptoms, including low libido.

•  Hormone therapy (HRT): Estrogen and progesterone therapy are commonly used to treat menopause symptoms, consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone (progestin).

•  Oral contraceptive pills

•  Antidepressant medications

•  Natural plant oestrogens - called phytoestrogens or isoflavones - as a supplement or in foods such as soy flour, soymilk, soybeans and tofu.

•  Diet modifications, including plenty of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium helps to keep the bones healthy, as does not smoking and taking regular weight-bearing exercise.