Low Libido in Menopause Linked to Difficulty Sleeping
New research has recently discovered that low libido in menopause may be linked to sleeping difficulties. Here, we will explore common symptoms of menopause, how menopause can contribute to sleeplessness and some of the therapeutic endeavors women might employ to address repeated incidents of insomnia during menopause.
Menopause is not considered an illness. Medical professionals define the occurrence as a natural life event impacting all women who reach their late forties or early fifties. It is during this time that the ovaries and other sexual and reproductive organs gradually decrease production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone and even testosterone. Additionally, other biological phenomena take place including the decreased output of egg production by the ovaries and declining menstrual cycles. By the time menopause is completed, a woman will no longer experience menstrual periods or possess the ability to bear children.
Common Symptoms of Menopause
Declining bodily concentrations of key hormones often produces a number of physical manifestations in menopausal women like:
These intermittent occurrences cause a burst of heat to radiate throughout the body, a flushed, red skin and profuse sweating.
Hormonal imbalances may lead to the increased collection of body fat and subsequent weight gain.
Loss of Bone Mass
Estrogen is critical to bone strength. Decreased amounts of estrogen can precipitate weakening bones that are more susceptible to injuries such as bruises and fractures.
Menopause might cause a woman's vagina to become dry. Vaginal dryness could be painful, especially during intercourse.
Wild hormonal fluctuations could elicit mood swings and the expression of other negative emotions like anxiety, anger, sadness and depression.
The physical and biological changes brought forth by menopause could cause a diminished sex drive or low libido.
Several physical manifestations of menopause, most notably hot flashes, might precipitate sleep loss.
The Link Between Low Libido in Menopause and Sleeplessness
A 2006 study conducted by the research entity Group Health found that sleep troubles could be directly connected to the low libido experienced by menopausal women.
Scientists studied roughly 350 women. Each test subject was of menopausal age (45 to 55) and experienced major sleep-disrupting menopause symptoms like hot flashes and nighttime sweating. More than 60 percent of these participants also reported a decline in libido. More than 40 percent said they experienced routine bouts of insomnia and nearly 20 percent had been diagnosed with depression.
Examiners concluded that a lack of sleep could definitely be a precursor to diminished libido and a host of several other potentially serious manifestations in menopausal women. Moreover, these scientists concluded that addressing insomnia could improve both libido and reduce the risk of more significant health complications as menopause progresses.
Treating Insomnia Precipitated by Menopause
The extent of treatment for insomnia relating to menopause will depend upon other factors such as the severity of the insomnia, the impacted woman's overall health and whether certain therapeutic protocols will cause her any undue health risks.
In instances where sleeplessness is minor, a menopausal woman might opt to try home remedies such as creating the most healthy sleep environment possible. This task can be accomplished by taking steps like: ensuring the room in which one sleeps is dark and free of potential distractions, making sure the sleeping area is cool and comfortable (or warm if such conditions are most optimal for a particular individual), keeping a glass of water or wash cloth on a nearby bed stand to ensure immediate cooling or refreshing in the event a hot flash attack strikes and avoiding the ingestion of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages for at least an hour or two in advance of the individual's scheduled bed time.
Some menopausal women might alleviate instances of insomnia by using natural substances known to induce sleep. The extracts of various plants and herbs are not only thought to improve sleep but may also help the body maintain healthy hormone balance. One such supplement containing numerous natural ingredients is Macabido Women's Formula. This popular product is formulated to fit a women's specific body chemistry and has produced results for menopausal women regarding issues such as certain symptoms of menopause, diminished libido and occasional trouble sleeping.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Estrogen Replacement Therapy, more commonly abbreviated ERT, is a medical procedure in which concentrations of estrogen lost during menopause are replaced with synthetic versions of the hormone that can be administered through injections, skin patches and oral preparations. ERT has helped some women regain healthy hormonal balance and helped to relieve menopausal symptoms such as insomnia. That said, the procedure does present certain health risks including the development of blood clots and endometrial cancer.
Testosterone therapy might also prove beneficial to menopausal women battling insomnia. Testosterone may be thought of as primarily a male hormone. However, the chemical is also critical to a woman's sexual health, especially libido. Furthermore, testosterone is also important to helping a woman develop regular sleep patters. During menopause, testosterone production also experiences a rapid decline, which might precipitate significant and potentially harmful incidents of insomnia.
Testosterone therapy in women also comes with its own set of health risks such as excessive hair growth, male-pattern baldness, vocal changes, as well as more serious ailments like heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Many medical professionals caution that, while sleeplessness precipitated by menopause is common, insomnia might indicate the presence of several other potentially dangerous illnesses. Therefore, any women experiencing this problem should have it investigated by her health care provider to rule out other maladies.