Oct 26th, 2020

Previous studies have estimated that anywhere from 30 to 70% of women experience a decline in libido following menopause. That's a pretty large number considering that most affected women report living active, busy, and social lifestyles.

While many different causes can be identified as culprits, decreasing estrogen levels top the charts of factors directly correlated to sexual dysfunction and low libido. The dropping levels of estradiol can also cause things like vaginal atrophy that can wreak havoc on your sex life.

Painful sex due to vaginal atrophy can become a commonplace occurrence as your tissues thin and hormone levels fall.

Low estrogen levels don’t only affect vaginal lubrication and libido. Women with low estrogen also experience genitourinary symptoms of menopause (GSM). While GSM is also characterized by vaginal dryness and irritation, it also adds urinary issues to its list of problems. Things like burning, urinary urgency, and frequent urinary tract infections are almost always reported.

From a lack of vaginal lubrication and sexual arousal to genitourinary issues, lack of estrogen makes the simple act of enjoying sex a tough task to tackle.

Treatment Options: HRT & Testosterone

You might have found that over time, the promising results of your lube and moisturizer products just aren't having the needed effects.

Getting treatment for your Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) symptoms is pretty easy if you know what your options are and know where to go!

These treatment options can help you determine what your next best steps should be when you're looking to conquer your FSD.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

When it comes to issues of low libido and decreased sexual desire, replacing the hormones that are responsible for these things in the first place is an easy step. Falling estrogen levels, after all, affect everything from vaginal dryness to reduced blood flow in the clitoris. But which hormone therapy should you choose? There are so many options!

Physicians like to diagnose diseases based on how far blood values or other specific measurable assessments are away from ‘normal’. Normal is a tough word though, since hormone levels in one woman are different than hormones in a different woman. And while this is true, it may be easy to start in a common place.

If you didn’t take oral contraceptives or have a hysterectomy, for most of your life, your hormones cycled on a monthly basis. They went up and down, stimulating ovulation. If you got pregnant, you didn’t cycle. If you cycled, you weren’t pregnant. This went on and on – and was quite frankly, normal. These ebbs and flows of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone did an awful lot, including stimulating your libido, promoting vaginal lubrication, and regulating your mood.

And because of this, it makes sense that the option we recommend is probably the most normal one of all. Replacing your hormones using the hormones your body makes, and in the rhythm that it once did is a type hormone therapy known as rhythmic dosing. At WHN, we termed this type of replacement Physiologic Restoration.

What is Physiologic Restoration Therapy?

Physiologic Restoration uses estradiol and progesterone at physiologic levels and mimics the menstrual cycle of women when they are their healthiest in their 20s and 30s. They are administered through custom-compounded creams where the dosage is changed about every 3 days. Replacement in this fashion can help tackle decreasing hormone levels right away. In fact, research indicates that boosting estradiol levels in the body improves vaginal lubrication and increases sexual interest and desire in postmenopausal women.

PR is available from specialized compounding pharmacies. Even though most women will begin their journey at the same dose, your doctor will look at your hormone levels and their hormone effects on your body and adjust the dose to create a unique-to-you experience.

Testosterone has been identified as a major factor in sexual dysfunction treatment and cases for years. It can increase libido, sexual desire, and helps to restore sexual functionality. And when women revert to their initial problems even after initially responding to HRT, the addition of testosterone can be especially helpful when the problem has been a loss of libido.

It not only helps treat FSD, it is also known to improve muscle strength and fight against the loss of bone mass. That's awesome news for people looking for a solution that comes with an added bonus.

Like the estrogen and progesterone used in PR, testosterone treatments are tailored to the individual and dosed in a rhythmic fashion.

What Are You Waiting For?

If you are menopausal and are suffering from issues with libido, sexual arousal, vaginal dryness, or genitourinary symptoms, then PR may be right for you. Schedule an appointment with one of a hormone specialists today!

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The goal of WHN is to expand the Standard of Care by promoting, advocating, and advancing women's wellbeing and longevity through clinical research and education about the benefits of Physiologic Restoration to reduce the symptoms of hormone imbalance, chronic disease and degenerative decline.
WHN is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation