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Menopause and Sex

Unfortunately, some of the common medicines used to treat depression may also impact your sex drive- or your partner's. Other common medications such as medicines for high blood pressure may have the same effect. Talk with your physician about this; there may be simple changes that can be made which can have very positive outcomes. It's also important-although it may be embarrassing--to talk with your physician about any physical difficulties you may be having related to menopause that may impair your sexual activity. Many of these difficulties can be improved or resolved with medical therapy, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), vaginal lubricants, aids for incontinence, or making changes to existing medication regimens.

It is clear that HRT has a positive benefit on treating menopausal symptoms in the short term (less than 5 years), which in turn may improve sexual desire and satisfaction. Some studies have also shown that a combination of estrogen and testosterone, the male hormone that women normally manufacture, may improve sexual desire. All medical treatments have advantages and disadvantages, however. Results from the Women's Health Initiative indicated that women whose average age was 63.5 who took a combined estrogen-progesterone combination therapy had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Estrogen-testosterone replacement may also reduce the cholesterol benefits that estrogen alone provides and have other side effects. More studies are needed to evaluate fully the benefits/risks of combined estrogen-testosterone therapy, as are studies to elucidate the benefits of estrogen or its alternative therapies on menopausal sexuality in general. Only your physician can give you individual recommendations as to what's best for you given the information we now have and your own personal risk profile.

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 Common sense goes a long way in resolving sexual issues related to decreased libido or decreased sexual satisfaction 

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