Menopausal woman taking hormones

Guest Blog: Can Androgen Therapy Improve Sex Drive After Menopause?

Getting old is scary, especially considering the many changes your body has to go through. Perhaps, one that’s most daunting, specifically for women, is menopause. From night sweats to emotional ups and downs, the list of symptoms seems never-ending. Worse, your struggles do not end there. They continue until your post-menopausal stage. One of the most common issues with menopause is loss of sexual drive.

There’s a potential savior on the horizon waiting to go mainstream - androgen therapy. It remains under-utilized and under-studied despite being promising. But how exactly can it help?

What Happens During Menopause

While it varies from one individual to another, most will hit the menopausal stage from 40 to 58 years old. Certain medical conditions and treatments may make others experience menopause at different points. Regardless of when it hits, the symptoms are almost universal. You’ll sweat faster, even at night and when it’s cool. Most will also have vaginal dryness. And as we’ll talk about in this article, reduced sexual drive can be apparent.

Low sex drive is also associated with other symptoms. For instance, many will experience emotional changes, including depression and anxiety. It can also harm the confidence of some people. When these symptoms combine, they can inevitably affect one’s sex life.

To address this, it’s worth exploring different solutions, including menopause care, hormone replacement therapy, and female topical sildenafil cream. With the right product and medical guidance, it can be easier to navigate life for climacteric women.

Menopausal woman experiencing hot sweats

What is Androgen Therapy?

From cardiac health to bone function, androgens are responsible for many things [1]. These sex hormones are critical for sexual function, from desire to orgasm. They have a vital role in the body’s sex steroid-dependent functions, including the genital nerves and connective tissues [2].

Menopause alone isn’t the sole factor that can contribute to the issue. For example, it can exacerbate because of taking antidepressant medications [3]. Many aging women resort to the latter because it can regulate their emotions, but the side effects are also worth emphasizing.

To alleviate the symptoms during the post-menopausal stage, androgen therapy may be worth exploring. At its core, it’s all about balancing the body’s hormones. As androgen level dwindles, the right medical intervention can help bring them back. Testosterone is one of the most common androgens in the body, which is also the subject of many hormone replacement therapies.

How Androgen Therapy Can Help in Sexual Health

First, it’s crucial to understand the sexual changes that happen among women as they age. In this case, one thing you must know is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). It’s the absence of sexual thoughts and fantasies. As a result, you may experience personal distress. To add, this can affect your relationship with your partner. It affects not just sexual health but also one’s overall quality of life [4].

Since the 1940s, there have already been scientific explorations on the impact of androgen therapy on female health. Nonetheless, most of them were inconclusive and uncontrolled. As such, it remains an area of interest, with many people looking for more solid proof of its effectiveness beyond the anecdotal evidence [5].

There are two main types of androgens in women for improving libido - testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). In current studies, however, there’s only one evidence-based indication for testosterone therapy, and that is for the treatment of HSDD.

Those who received treatment preferred transdermal application. A testosterone spray was used in a randomized control trial, with those receiving active treatment noting higher sexual satisfaction compared to those with a placebo. Aside from sexual function, the participants also noted improvements in mood and overall well-being.

In the same study, it was recommended that those receiving androgen therapy should undergo medical consultation for optimal results. A psychosocial assessment also helps [6].

Aside from sprays, there are other ways of administering androgens. For example, they can come in the form of gels, patches, and ointments.

A Word of Warning

Despite the benefits, there are some things worth noting. One of the most important is that androgen therapy for post-menopausal women to address waning sexual desire is not FDA-approved. While it has been around for some time, regulatory authorities are yet to make formal recommendations for such therapies. Because of the lack of FDA approval, many women resort to off-label formulations, which can pose dangers because of the lack of regulation.

In addition, there can also be side effects. A common adverse effect is the reduction in HDL level, known as the good cholesterol. Consequently, this can result in a higher predisposition for cardiovascular diseases [7]. More so, moderate to severe acne can also manifest. Some may also experience clinical hirsutism or excessive hair growth. Androgenic alopecia might also be experienced [8]. 

Other Ways to Bring Back Sex Drive

Intimate encounters don’t have to vanish when you go through menopause and beyond. Aside from androgen therapy, other solutions are worth exploring, including the following:

  • Review Your Medications: Assess the medicines you’re taking. Some of them can lower your desire for intimacy, including antidepressants. It’s best to talk to a medical expert about the changes you can implement to ensure safety.
  • Try Counselling: This can help identify psychological barriers that require attention. Additionally, you’ll learn how to improve communication and enhance personal relationships.
  • Be More Creative: Getting older should not be an excuse to be boring in the bedroom. Don't hesitate to venture out and experiment with new things.
  • Change Your Lifestyle: A holistic approach is necessary. From regular exercise to a healthy diet, different modifications can improve libido, as well as your overall health.
Intimate menopausal couple in bed

Wrapping Up

It’s undeniable that menopause is life-changing, literally and figuratively. This period in a woman’s life brings abundant changes, even during the post-menopausal stage. Many will experience decreased sex drive. Luckily, there are novel solutions worth exploring, and they include androgen therapy. While the latter remains unpopular, limited studies are supporting its effectiveness. Like other therapies, it may come with side effects, which necessitates the need for a careful approach, as well as medical consultation.



Guest Blog: Written by Laura Morgan.