Sexuality and Menopause

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Mickie Griffith-Autry, PhD, NP-C

Mickie Griffith-Autry Article

 

Components of female sexuality include fantasy, stimulation, erotica, open communication, and noncoital interactions. All of these components are important when exploring sexuality and menopause.

Sexual desire, or libido, is the urge for sexual activity. Decreased libido is a very common concern during the menopausal transition. Sexual desire is a learned behavior and is composed of feelings of pleasure, enjoyment, and satisfaction. Many women who have experienced pain, disappointment, guilt, and dissatisfaction may have a negative desire for sexual intercourse.

The transition into menopause can often alter a woman's previous sexual desire. Hormonal changes, vaginal lubrication, low testosterone levels can have a significant effect upon sexual functioning.

Many menopausal women often endure additional elements of loss of a partner, a partner with sexual dysfunction, changes in physical appearance, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, sleep disturbances, job issues, empty nest, medications, and medical conditions that contribute to a loss of sexual desire and must be accounted for.

Sexual desire is an important concern during the menopausal transition. The changes women experience can be confusing, depressing, and misunderstood. However help is available from your health care provider. These therapies include but are not limited to medical, hormonal, psychological, and a willingness to openly communicate with your health care provider.

If at any time you have any specific topics or suggestions that you would like for me to address, please do not hesitate to contact me at: mickieautry@comcast.net and I will be happy to explore and discuss such issues.

 

 

Ms. Autry earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Jacksonville State University, her Masters of Science degree in nursing from the University of Alabama Huntsville, and her PhD from Walden University. Her research dissertation was entitled Pelvic muscle strengthening: Impact on sexual functioning in the menopausal woman. Ms. Autry is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nursing Credentialing Center, and the Certification Board for Urological Nurses and Associates. She has completed multiple postgraduate preceptor programs in female sexual medicine, pelvic pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Ms. Autry is an active member of the Society of Urological Nurse Associates, North American Menopause Society, American Urological Society, and the International Pelvic Pain Society and founder of two women's health support groups. She is a national and local speaker for multiple pharmaceutical and medical companies, has participated in clinical trial studies, and has published articles in the Society of Urological Nurse Associate and North American Menopause Society journals.

 

Mickie Griffith-Autry, PhD, NP-C

 

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