Menopause and Sexuality explains evidence-based solutions for when we feel low libido or vaginal dryness or painful intercourse impact our sexuality.


What is sexuality?

Depending on the Source (DotS) the definition of sexuality may vary. In Sexuality and Intimacy In older Adults, content reviewed: 18 April 2022, the (United States) National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) definition is:

Menopause and Sexuality“Sexuality is the way we experience and express ourselves sexually. It involves feelings, desires, actions, and identity, and can include many different types of physical touch or stimulation”.


What is libido?

Depending on the Source (DotS) the definition of low libido may vary. In Libido: What Is Libido? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) definition is:

“Libido is the sexual instinct or erotic desire and pleasure. Your libido is otherwise known your ‘sex drive’. Libido varies from woman to woman and can be influenced by a range of different factors”.

Low Libido and Testosterone Therapy

Can low libido be treated with testosterone therapy?

The video Testosterone Explained (Reviewed: 1 March 2023) includes:

“Prof Nick Panay, Consultant Gynaecologist, Imperial College and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals London, President – International Menopause Society and Member – BMS medical advisory council, answers these FAQs: What is testosterone and what is its role in women? Is testosterone replacement effective in managing menopausal symptoms? What symptoms does it help with? Is testosterone replacement safe? Are there side effects with testosterone replacement? How long could it be taken for? How should testosterone therapy be monitored in women? How is testosterone replacement given? What are the currently available options in the UK?”.

Vaginal Dryness

What is vaginal dryness?

DotS the definition of vaginal dryness may vary. In Vaginal Dryness After Menopause: How To Treat It?, published 07 December 2022, the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause, also known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. With this condition, vaginal tissues become thinner and more easily irritated — resulting from the natural decline in your body’s estrogen levels during menopause”.

Vaginal Dryness Treatment Options

What are some vaginal dryness treatment options?

In Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options, published 2022, the North American Menopause Society elaborate on:


  • “Nonhormone Remedies
    • Vaginal Lubricants…
    • Vaginal Moisturizers…
    • Regular Sexual Stimulation…
    • Expanding Your Views of Sexual Pleasure…
    • Vaginal Dilators…
    • Pelvic Floor Exercises…
  • Vaginal Hormone Therapy…
    • Low-dose local estrogen…
    • FDA-approved low-dose vaginal estrogen products…
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA; Prasterone)
    • Low-dose vaginal estrogen or DHEA and a history breast or uterine cancer…
  • Systemic Estrogen Therapy
  • Other Therapies…
    • Ospemifene
    • Vaginal Laser Therapy…”.

Painful Intercourse

What is painful intercourse?

In Sex and Menopause: Treatment for Symptoms – Sex Is Becoming Painful: What Can I Do? content reviewed: 30 September 2021, the NIA elaborate on:

“Pain during sexual activity is called dyspareunia. Like other symptoms of the menopausal transition, dyspareunia may be minor and not greatly affect a woman’s quality of life. However, some women experience severe dyspareunia that prevents them from engaging in any sexual activity without pain”.

Health Care Provider

What if I experience low libido or vaginal dryness or painful intercourse?

In Vaginal Atrophy: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms: When To See A Doctor the Mayo Clinic note:

“Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any unexplained vaginal spotting or bleeding, unusual discharge, burning, or soreness.

Also make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience painful intercourse that’s not resolved by using a vaginal moisturizer (K-Y Liquibeads, Replens, Sliquid, others) or water-based lubricant (Astroglide, K-Y Jelly, Sliquid, others)”.

In Libido: Managing & Treating Low Libido – Seek Advice the JH elaborate on:

“It is better for your relationship and future sexual experiences to discuss your feelings of low libido. You may want to seek advice from your doctor, with your partner if appropriate. Some of the following may help:

  • Treatment for any underlying illness or medical condition
  • Lifestyle changes and stress management
  • Herbal remedies (see an accredited naturopath)
  • Hormone therapy (if appropriate)
  • Medication changes
  • Antidepressants (certain antidepressants may be more suitable, others can reduce libido)
  • Stress management
  • Couples counselling
  • Counselling with a therapist who specialised in sexual concerns”.

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Last Updated: 05 August 2023 – Last Revised: 01 April 2023