Saturday, October 16

Menopause is ruining my sex life. How can I stop feeling so numb? | Menopause

The dilemma I am a 52 year old woman who has had a difficult perimenopause. I have read a lot on the subject and have tried various supplements to ease this transition. My experience has included hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, insomnia and heavy periods. He suffered from the most debilitating anxiety to the point where he could barely function. I am on bioidentical THS (Oestragel and Utrogestan), but these had little effect in alleviating symptoms. I had no choice but to take antidepressants even though my symptoms were due to hormonal fluctuations.

Like a side Effect my libido dropped drastically (until then I had maintained a healthy sex life and it has always been easy for me to reach orgasm). What I didn’t expect was that my clit would physically shrink and orgasms would become almost impossible to achieve.

I have been out of the antidepressants since the end of August, as I didn’t like how I felt and the lack of sensations and orgasms. My clitoris has not grown back and I have not regained any real sensation that is comparable to my previous experience. For the most part I feel numb. I am devastated by the idea of ​​living as a eunuch woman. I’m also not comfortable discussing this with my GP.

Mariella responds I’m glad you wrote. Commenting on a wide variety of topics, many of which I have little knowledge of, is, I fear, the luck of any dying aunt and I have no medical qualifications, so proper medical advice is not something I can offer, but I do know a little about menopause.

Clitoral atrophy is one thing: a condition that a small minority of women suffer from that is caused by a use-or-lose-it scenario during perimenopause. It is one of the many mysteries of menopause that the world fails to educate us about until we are in the danger zone. Not only is it worth a trip to the GP, it has nothing to be ashamed of, and it usually heals quite easily with a little lube and some gentle care.

It is a source of ongoing frustration that a liminal phase in every woman’s life, when a variety of ailments afflict us due to a huge drop in hormone levels, should still be a subject of shame. So, I repeat that what you really need is a good family doctor to tell you that everything is as it should be and, possibly, to offer you more treatment.

I may be ill-equipped to answer you on a medical basis, but I know that one of the side effects of antidepressants is the loss of sensitivity in your clitoris and with that comes the inability to orgasm. It’s actually a common reason people quit antidepressants if their symptoms aren’t too burdensome, not wanting to lose the unbridled emotional and physical release they can access deep in the fog of bad mood.

So far everything normal in your case, is what I am saying. Since the clitoris swells during stimulation, the fact that it can decrease in periods of sexual starvation is also a reason, which is why inactivity has likely contributed to the feeling that it has shrunk. There’s only one way to find out, of course, and that’s to get back to habit.

Losing libido is simply a symptom, not a life sentence, and one that can be addressed in many ways, from replenishing hormone levels to embracing the mood-enhancing moments of the day when the feeling of the erotic could have a chance to flourish. .

One of the many problems of menopause is how we end up struggling with conditions and symptoms that we don’t even recognize or are prepared for. They come at you from different directions, often all at once, and it can be incredibly traumatic. It sounds like I’ve been through a veritable storm of all the most debilitating intrusions, but I can assure you that, thankfully, this is only a passing phase in our fertility cycle. However, instead of making an empty diagnosis here, I recommend that you go back to the doctor who prescribed HRT for you and ask about other helpful supplements, such as testosterone (research has shown that women suffer from testosterone depletion during menopause) . It could be key to getting your libido back and raising your energy levels. It sounds to me like you’ve been overwhelmed by what can be a truly debilitating period that all women have to go through, but for which there is scandalously little support or understanding.

Ultimately, this transition, painful as it may be, gives way to a new, liberated and enriching stage of life: later periods and the creation of babies. You have not yet reached those quiet shores when everything seems possible again and life as you knew it resumes, often for the better.

Getting the proper medical support, sharing your frustrations with your partner and friends, and generally being loud and proud of your genetically programmed turbulence is the way to a better experience and a return to the idea of ​​who you are, not just who you have. been. reduced to during this period of agitation.

If you have a dilemma, please send a short email to [email protected] Follow her on twitter @ mariellaf1

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