Some of the changes associated with menopause can be treated simply. A lack of vaginal lubrication can be overcome by purchasing a lubricant at the drug store. You can also buy vaginal moisturizers that help protect vaginal tissues from dryness and thinning. Simply going slower during sexual activity may help to increase lubrication and build a more intense orgasm.
For some women these tactics are not enough. They may chooose supplements of hormones to deal with sexual changes and/or other signs of menopause such as:
- hot flashes
- sleep disturbances
- urinary tract infections
- night sweats
- bone thinning
- mood changes
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) usually refers to supplements of estrogen and progestin. Although estrogen effectively treats these disturbances, progestin is necessary to protect the uterus unless a woman has had a hysterectomy.
Temporary side effects of HRT may include:
- breast swelling and tenderness
- mood changes
These side effects usually occur in the first three months of therapy, then decrease over time. HRT may cause “breakthrough” spotting in the first year. The spotting stops with continued use. Changing the dose, schedule or product may reduce the side effects.
To learn more about HRT, visit our Guide to Hormone Replacement Therapy. You should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of HRT for you.
Other Treatment Options
Studies have also suggested that supplements of the male hormone testosterone may help increase libido and the intensity of orgasm. Side effects of testosterone are very rare, especially with the low doses used today. Rare side effects may include hoarseness or development of facial hair or acne.
Some women are trying natural products, which contain estrogen-like substances. Soy products such as tofu or soymilk added to the diet may lessen some of these symptoms. Some women report success with herbal ‘hormonal stabilizers’ like black cohosh, chasteberry or evening primrose oil.