As a woman ages the number of follicles in her ovaries decreases and they produce fewer hormones. Menopause occurs when the ovaries fail to produce enough hormones to stimulate the monthly growth of the endometrium, and menstrual periods stop permanently.
Many women experience a variety of symptoms due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause. Around this time, they also often lose bone density and their blood cholesterol levels may worsen, increasing their risk of heart disease. The average age of menopause is 51 years, although this can vary widely.
Often the first symptom of impending menopause is a change in bleeding patterns. Periods may become lighter or heavier, longer or shorter, the time between periods may increase and there may be occasional missed periods. These changes may occur gradually in some women, but may be more abrupt in others.
There are also a wide range of physical and psychological signs and symptoms associated with menopause. In some women they are very mild while in others they are more severe. They may last for only a few months, or may continue for several years.
Physical signs and symptoms may include:
Psychological signs and symptoms may include:
Although hormonal changes associated with menopause affect women’s sexual health, it is a myth to think all women experience a lack of libido and a decline in active sex at this stage of life – particularly if their menopause is naturally occurring and not as a result of a hysterectomy.
Several studies have shown about half of middle aged women notice a decline in sexual desire, with 20 percent of these significantly affected, although a higher number of women (75 percent) report an unexpected loss of sexual desire after having a hysterectomy. Hormones like estrogen, testosterone and DHEA are believed to play an important role in sexual desire and responsiveness, affecting not just libido but also physical aspects like vaginal dryness.
The most common menopause symptoms are hot flushes and vaginal dryness, or vaginal shrinkage, causing discomfort during sex.
Many women express a strong desire to maintain their sex lives during menopause, but are unaware that vaginal shrinkage is related to estrogen deficiency and is readily treated, according to gynaecology professor Dr. Murray Freedman.
Changes in a women’s sexual health at menopause are caused by:
There are many myths about sex and menopause, including that it’s not normal to want sex after menopause. In fact, many women feel a greater sexual desire when they no longer face the possibility of pregnancy and the weight of other family responsibilities. Couples may also enjoy more financial and emotional stability than in younger years, and have more recreational time to share.
Sex in midlife – before, during, or after menopause – can be the best a couple has ever shared, as their relationship deepens, the masks fall away and there is more intimacy in their exchanges. Even the sense that you are growing closer together as a couple can play a role.
Science shows that men and women’s emotional needs converge as they grow older – with men seeking more emotional closeness, and women becoming more interested in the physicality of sex.
Menopause is a natural conclusion to a women’s reproductive cycle, and it can be freeing when approached with a positive attitude. The famous anthropologist Margaret Mead coined the phrase ‘post menopausal zest’ to describe the freedom women enjoy at this time “free of birth control, PMS, monthly cramps and inconveniences.”
It’s a time of new adventures – in the bedroom and out of it. If you feel you need support to get launched why not try an herbal supplement for women’s reproductive and sexual health like Herbal Ignite for Women. It can help hormonal balance and alleviate menopausal symptoms and also improve energy and mood and lift libido.
As impactful as it can be, menopause doesn't have to be a disastrous time for women. If reduced hormone levels are causing unpleasant symptoms, treatments such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or even Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapies can be very effective. HRT and other types of medication can also be used to prevent health problems, for example, if a woman has a significantly increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
However, if you are not a candidate for HRT, or simply prefer a natural alternative, there are other options available in the form of herbal supplements. These can help re-balance your system and overcome estrogen dominance, which can have a negative impact on both your weight and sex drive.
Herbs generally take a little longer than Hormone Replacement Therapies to start working, but once they have built up in your system, the results can be very pleasing. Plant-based Phytohormones are only 2 to 4 percent as potent as the hormones produced by your body, or bio-identical hormones, so it takes time to build up their levels.
In her book In The Mood Again, Use The Power of Healthy Hormones to Reboot your Sex Life At Any Age, Dr. Genie James recommends waiting four to six weeks for levels to increase, but in some cases, you might “need to be patient for four months.” It is good to remember this is a “gradual and gentle approach for rejuvenating your sexuality for life, not for a sexual sprint,” she says.
As an alternative to medications and hormone replacement therapies – which can have negative side effects –women are Increasingly looking to herbal health products like Herbal Ignite for Women. Clinical trials, as well as many years of herbal practice, have shown the herbs in Ignite for Women support women’s reproductive health effectively. It has a number of positive health outcomes, including:
Herbal Ignite’s special formula has helped thousands of women with libido support and an improved sense of wellbeing, with minimal unwanted side effects. However, it’s important to note that herbal preparations do not work instantly, or even overnight. Like many herbal remedies, it’s ideal to continue with Ignite for Women for three months. This is to ensure the best results, even though most people notice benefits within the first couple of weeks.
The four key herbs in Ignite for Women – Tribulus Terrestris, Damiana, Horny Goat Weed and Dong Quai – have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to rejuvenate women’s hormonal health. In the last 30 years, this traditional use has been supported by some scientific studies, but there is still a lot we don’t understand about how exactly the active ingredients in these herbs work.
Menopausal symptoms are generally indicative of a hormonal imbalance in the system. When the hormonal system is nourished back to balanced levels, these negative symptoms disappear. For those who have noticed a decline in libido, the balancing of hormones also heralds a restoration of sexual desire and drive.
Herbal Ignite is manufactured in New Zealand to the highest standards, with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.