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Sexual Health

menopause and increased libido

By | Fact Checked By Andrea Donsky |

When it comes to a woman’s sex drive in menopause, you often hear complaints about how desire wanes. However, for some women, the opposite happens: increased libido. So what’s going on?

What is an increased libido?

An increased libido refers to a greater desire to engage in sexual activities. Generally, there are several factors that can cause increased libido.

  • Research has indicated that engaging in exercise may boost your sex drive.
  • Use of certain stimulating drugs, such as cocaine, may increase libido.
  • If stress is a factor in low libido, taking steps to significantly reduce or manage stressors may result in increased libido

How is increased libido associated with menopause?

Every woman’s sex drive is different. It may not change at all when hormone levels start to fluctuate and decline, but the most common response is a waning libido. Some women, however, experience an increase in libido. According to Susan Hardwick-Smith, MD, “people who go through perimenopause can not only reawaken their libido, but also have the best sex of their life, later on in life.” 

Read about menopause and loss/low libido

Dr. Hartwick-Smith studied more than 1,000 women between the ages of 40 and 65, and 715 of them were in either perimenopause or menopause. Just over half (51%) said they had a decrease in sex drive. But if women want to have a better sex life and increased libido, she noted that people need to educate themselves about this transitional time of life and be willing to explore solutions to their symptoms. 

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How to manage increased libido naturally

For women who are experiencing increased libido in menopause or postmenopause, typically the issue is how to respond to the feelings that go along with it. These feelings can be dramatically different depending on a woman’s situation. Some women and their partners may be thrilled to have entered this new stage of their sexual lives. Other women may feel uncertain, surprised, or confused, especially if they do not have a sexual partner or have a partner who does not understand the changes that are taking place.

Here are some suggestions on how to manage increased libido in the menopausal years.

Welcome the changes. Menopause is a natural stage of life: it’s going to happen and changing sexual feelings are often a part of this time. It is a time to take inventory of your sex life, your sexual feelings, and what sex means to you. Your body is changing, and it’s important to embrace those changes as well.

Embrace the freedom. With menopause comes freedom from monthly cramps and bleeding, worries about pregnancy, and use of birth control. For many women, releasing these fears helps them enjoy better sex. 

Let go. Some women hold onto thoughts that they are “too old” to let go and enjoy their increased libido. You deserve a healthy, fulfilling sex life. Regular sexual activity is healthy: it can help enhance blood flow, maintain the flexibility of the vagina, and keep vaginal muscles toned. It’s also a boost to your mood.

Communicate. If you are in a partnered relationship, be sure to communicate with your partner about your sexual feelings and desires. Healthy communication is a critical pillar for a healthy sex life. 

When to call your doctor

An increased libido typically doesn’t require medical assistance. However, if you are experiencing anxiety about your sexual feelings, you may want to talk with a therapist. 

Bottom line

Although it is not as common as a decreased sex drive, some women beginning in perimenopause can experience increased libido.

Andrea is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & Menopause Expert. Andrea is in menopause & has been researching for the last 5 years science-based ingredients and methods to help women manage their symptoms. She’s the Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a multiple award-winning website. Andrea co-authored the book “Unjunk Your Junk Food” published by Simon and Schuster, as well as “Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart,” and “Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.” Andrea co-hosts the Morphus for Menopause podcast and appears as a Healthy Living Expert on TV across North America. Andrea has more than 20 years of experience in the health & wellness space and is a multiple award-winning Influencer.