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Menopause and Sexuality

While menopause marks the end of a woman's reproductive life, it does not mean the end of her sex life. Studies show that women on estrogen replacement notice the least change in their sexual interest and in their sexual satisfaction. Estrogen clearly treats menopausal symptoms, which may reduce fatigue and improve both sexual desire and satisfaction. A recent survey found that a majority of menopausal women say their sexual desire and interest in sex is just as robust as before menopause. An interesting finding of this survey was that women taking estrogen replacement reported greater sexual activity than women not on estrogen.

These findings make sense medically -estrogen relieves the menopausal symptoms that can make sex uncomfortable. Supermodel Lauren Hutton, spokesperson for the Vitality Menopause Education Campaign says this was also her experience:

Lauren Hutton: "You know, when I was going through all the symptoms of menopause-the hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, moodiness and irritability-I didn't feel like going to the movies, let alone going to bed with someone. Now, I sometimes feel like going to several movies a day!"

When asked, the women on hormone replacement therapy said that comfort with their partner, physical fitness, no fear of pregnancy, and their hormone therapy were the top four reasons for their satisfying sex life. Interestingly, sexy lingerie was way down the list of relevant factors.

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Created: 9/29/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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