If you find yourself ‘in the mood’ less often these days, you’re not alone. Reduced sex drive is common in women in their late 40s and 50s. During and after menopause — plus in the years leading up to it, known as perimenopause — lower levels of estrogen and other hormones can lessen a woman’s desire for intimacy and even make it harder for her to become aroused. Here, four simple and natural remedies that may help to boost your libido and rev your menopause sex drive.
Pain? Try this gel.
More than half of postmenopausal women deal with vaginal dryness that can make intimacy less enjoyable…even painful. One thing that may help: a vaginal gel made with hydrating hyaluronic acid. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found female participants who applied it once every three days for a total of 10 applications saw a significant improvement in their vaginal dryness. Try: Vagisil ProHydrate Moisturizing Gel (Buy from Walgreens, $11.99).
Never in the mood? Get moving.
It’s no surprise that exercise helps most people maintain a positive body image, which can in turn aid in their overall sexual well-being. Research published in the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews shows that exercise can improve a woman’s chances of sexual arousal and increase sexual satisfaction. An experiment published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy suggests that exercise can increase sexual arousal in healthy women, likely due to increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, early postmenopausal women participants in the Seattle Midlife Women’s Health Study study who exercised more frequently were found to have a higher degree of sexual desire.
Too stressed? Unwind with neroli.
A study in Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine found that inhaling the scent of neroli essential oil twice daily for 5 minutes increased sexual desire in postmenopausal women. This randomized controlled trial also indicated that smelling neroli oil may help relieve other menopause-related symptoms, reduce blood pressure, lessen stress levels, and stimulate the endocrine system. Try: Gya Labs Neroli Essential Oil (Buy from Amazon, $19.99).
Tight? Use ginseng.
A review published in the Baltimore journal Medicine found women in randomized clinical trials who took Korean red ginseng were more interested in sex and enjoyed it more than those who didn’t. Another study published in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine backed up the theory that red ginseng extracts could be used as an alternative medicine in menopausal women to improve their sexual life. More specifically, several animal studies found that ginseng has a relaxing effect on vaginal muscles — though this has not yet been proven in human trials. Try: Swanson Korean Ginseng (Buy from Swanson Vitamins, $7.21).
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This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.