Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

Sex After the Menopause: Could Female Viagra be the Answer?

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Health and Wellbeing /

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It’s commonly known that the menopause can have a detrimental effect on your sex life. Reduced levels of oestrogen can leave you feeling ‘not in the mood’ and can also cause vaginal dryness. Add hot flushes into the equation, and it’s little wonder that many women don’t relish the prospect of getting intimate with their loved one!

Unhappy with Your Sex Life
If you don’t feel happy with the way things are going with your sex life, you’re not alone. In a study led by Dr Heather Currie, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, results showed that 80% of menopausal women wanted to continue enjoying an active sex life, but felt that their bodies were letting them down.

The study, which featured more than 2,500 women, revealed that 80% also suffered from loss of libido and 76% were upset by their diminishing sex drive.

The conclusion of the research was: ‘It’s not that they don’t want to have sex – their bodies have simply stopped co-operating so sex becomes painful and women start making excuses to avoid it.’

Can a Pill Provide the Solution?
According to a study conducted at both the Northwestern University of Chicago and the Female Sexual Medicine Centre at UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles, the answer may lie with female Viagra.

The research, which ran over a 12 week period, featured 202 post-menopausal or post-hysterectomy females; all of whom were struggling with loss of libido. Some were given Viagra and others were given a placebo; and all were told to take notes after each sexual experience. During the research period, those who had taken Viagra reported improvement in their sex lives, compared to those who had received the placebo.

Improvements not only included heightened arousal, but better lubrication and improved orgasms. Dr Jennifer Berman, who co-authored the study, emphasised that ‘women with significant emotional or relationship problems and women that have desire problems related to their interest in being sexual might not be the best candidates. It’s for women who were satisfied with their sexual response at one point and now, for whatever medical reason, are no longer able to respond.’

A Natural Answer
If you’re reluctant to take medication, drugs such as Lady Prelox might be the answer. Dubbed as the ‘natural Viagra’, the pills contain a substance called pycnogenol, which comes from French pine bark. Manufacturers of the drug claim that it can intensify female orgasms, but only if taken twice a day.

Although evidence as to whether these pills work or not is scanty, one study conducted in Italy, featuring 40 women, reported improvements in quality of sex; leading the scientists to conclude that it ‘significantly improves sexual function.’

Alternative Ways to Boost Libido
Of course, remember that there are other ways to improve the quality of your sex life. If vaginal dryness is a problem, there are lubricants available at your local pharmacist that will help significantly.

Remember that a good diet and plenty of exercise is also conducive to improving sex life, and that there are other tactics you can adopt to ensure you’re both ‘in the mood’!

If you’re finding loss of libido due to menopause particularly difficult to cope with, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor, who will be able to offer a range of solutions to your problem.

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Posted by The Best of Health

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