Libido is the medical term used to describe sexual drive and desire. Low libido refers to a lack of interest and desire in sex. Loss of libido is a complex phenomenon associated with psychological, physical and hormonal changes. Although hormonal change is the major cause of loss of libido during menopause, other menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, fatigue, and irritation also play a role in the loss of libido.
The main hormones that affect libido are progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. These hormones directly increase libido by increasing sensation and heightening sexual response and orgasm. Estrogen assists in the production of vaginal lubrication and maintenance of healthy vaginal tissue. Deficiency of any of these three hormones results in low libido. Estrogen deficiency causes vaginal dryness, resulting in painful intercourse and indirectly decreasing a woman’s desire to have sex.
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