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Her Menopause is Causing Depression and Low Libido

For six years, she has been in the midst of depression caused by menopause. She’s previously taken antidepressants to help combat her mood swings, but these diminish her sex drive without creating a real sense of normalcy.

Case #: 652


I’ve been going through menopause for about six years now and never before had depression. Since menopause, I’ve battled depression on and off. My doctor prescribed antidepressants years ago, but I’m afraid of side effects on my sex life. Is there another answer, or am I just going to have to suffer through this? Any chance of remaining depressed after menopause?


Depression is a word that relates to three different conditions: (1) a depressed mood, (2) a symptom of depression as a reaction to life or (3) clinical depression from a chemical imbalance in the brain. Menopause is not linked to any of these, although it is marked by hormone imbalances and mood swings – meaning you’re not imagining those times when you feel blue.

The good news is you’re probably not depressed, although you are on an emotional roller coaster. To compound the situation, your symptoms of menopause also trigger low libido. Rest assured that help is available, but not in the form of a prescription pill.

Mood Changes and Menopause

In Greek, menopause means “end of monthly cycles.” This sounds deceptively simple, because it is in fact a time of profound physical change. One of the most difficult aspects of menopause is its lack of uniformity. It affects each woman differently, and its numerous symptoms include increased irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, the increased need to urinate, and – as already discussed – mood swings. This last symptom may also be the result of not sleeping well, especially when night sweats are involved.

Women who experienced severe PMS during their child-bearing years are more likely to suffer deep mood swings during menopause. But feelings of depression rarely occur as isolated events. These emotions can also negatively affect libido because sexual desire begins in the brain, where neurotransmitters stimulate blood flow to the sex organs. Menopause interferes with the body’s sex hormones and subsequently disrupts the signals of neurotransmitters. This leads to low sex drive.

Prescription Drugs for Depression

Doctors typically prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to combat menopause’s symptoms of depression. Although it is unclear how these drugs work, they have shown to improve mood. They also contribute to low libido. Women in particular are likely to suffer severe sexual dysfunction while taking SSRIs, including delayed orgasm and lack of arousal.

Members of the medical community often try to remedy low sex drive by prescribing more pills. The truth is that with menopause, these prescriptions only mask the real problems. SSRIs interfere with hormones and neurotransmitters, meaning they reduce the symptoms of menopause but further disrupt the body’s natural processes.

Natural Remedies

After taking in all of this information, you probably think you’re doomed to feel blue the rest of your life. You are not, but it is hard to pinpoint exactly when your symptoms will stop. The best thing you can do now is focus on positive aspects of your life: no more periods, no more birth control and the opportunity to start anew – the kids are out of the house, and you’re marking a new phase of your life.

Now that your thinking is in balance, you can work on reducing the symptoms of menopause and naturally improving your mood. Muira puama is an herbal remedy used historically as an aphrodisiac. It increases libido by improving blood flow to the sex organs, thereby resulting in increased arousal and stronger orgasms for women. Studies show it also aids with stress management, reduces cramps and alleviates feelings of depression.

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