Summary of Menopause and your libido
Results posted: 7 January 2010
Thank you to all 3395 of you who answered our questions on this survey.
The findings were published in the medical journal Menopause International, reference Web-based survey on the effect of menopause on women's libido in a computer-literate population. Menopause Int, March 2009; 15: 8 – 12.
We found that an active sex life is important to 84% of you with 79% of you finding that the menopause transition affects your libido with almost all of you (81%) finding it to be a cause of distress in your lives. Despite this, less than a third of you (27%) had discussed this problem with health professionals.
We found that those of you who were sexually active and postmenopausal were more likely to discuss your loss of libido with a health-care professional than those of you going through the change. Interestingly, those of you who are single and not sexually active (both perimenopausal and postmenopausal) are more likely to discuss your loss of libido with a health professional than if you are perimenopausal and sexually active.
Overall, in premenopausal women, 29% of you admitted to pain on intercourse caused by vaginal dryness, with 63% of you believing it to be a factor in your loss of libido. Less than a quarter of you (21%) had discussed this with a health professional and 17% of you were on treatment.
Among symptomatic perimenopausal women less than 40 years old, none were on treatment. In general though, if you were perimenopausal and had discussed your loss of libido from vaginal dryness with a health professional then over a third of you (36%) were on treatment.
56% of you who were postmenopausal admitted to vaginal dryness causing pain on intercourse and 87% of you think it's decreased your libido. Just under a half of you (46%) had discussed this with health professionals and just over half of you who had (55%) were on treatment.
An active sex life is important to you and many of you report libido being adversely affected by your menopause, thus causing a significant health burden. Despite this, many of you are not seeking help from health professionals.
This survey also confirms that you may not be fully aware of the available treatments to alleviate your symptoms or that you may just be too embarrassed to seek help. Women should be encouraged to discuss these issues with health professionals and health professionals should actively ask women about their sexual health regardless of age and partner status.