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Dear Dr. Kate: Help, Menopause Sucks!

Wed, Jul 20, 2011

Advice, What's Up Doc?

photo by me_and_the_sysop

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here every two weeks. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

I need menopause help, this time of my life sucks! I have no urges, no desire, I’m tired, my husband is pissed off all the time, etc, etc. Any advice on herbal remedies? Or anything else that might help? I’ve been to the doctor and she states that lack of sleep, stress, and menopause are why I have no desire.

– Menopissed

Dear Menopissed,

I think your doctor is onto something. Yes, during the time around menopause, your hormone levels are going nuts, and you may feel like you’re going nuts as well. And once you’ve been through menopause, and your periods have stopped completely, replacing your lost hormones may make you feel more normal (and help with the hot flashes).

But it’s not hormones alone that are likely killing your libido. So many things contribute to how sexy you’re feeling and how much sex you want. And exhaustion, stress with work or family, illness, and conflict with your husband can all contribute to your loss of desire. So can bad sex — if sex is uncomfortable, painful, or not enjoyable in general, who would want to have more of it? I’m afraid that there’s no pill, herbal or otherwise, that can provide an easy cure. But addressing the stresses in your life — with your husband, or maybe with a counselor — can help. And if you’re having any issues with sex itself, your gyno should be able to help — with something as simple as a lubricant or more complex like vaginal estrogen supplements.

For further reading, you might also want to check out parts one, two, and three of my Female Sexual Dysfunction Series on this site.

– Dr. Kate
Gynotalk
dr_kate_100

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.

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