Shop Bonafide

High Libido in Women During Perimenopause

Alex Fulton

Want to print this article for later? Click here.

Perimenopause, or the time leading up to menopause, is a transitional period for many women. Hormones begin to fluctuate, which commonly causes the onset of symptoms such as hot flashesmood swings and menstrual irregularities.

Another symptom that’s common — but not as commonly discussed — is a change in sexual desire or your perimenopause sex drive – specifically a sudden increase in libido. While some women struggle with a decline in their sex drive during perimenopause and menopause, others may actually notice increased libido after menopause or during. Understanding perimenopause increased libido, as well as what is going on to cause this shift, may help you embrace your growing appetite for sexual intimacy.

Hear more from Bonafide Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck on why increased sex drive may occur during perimenopause and what you can do about it, below: 

Perimenopause and Increased Libido

While many perimenopause symptoms are associated with fluctuating hormones, that’s not necessarily the case with changes in sexual desire and drive, according to OBGYN, Dr. Suzanne Hall. “Most of the libido is surprisingly not directly related to our hormonal state,” Dr. Hall says. “As we enter into perimenopause and menopause, what affects our libido the most dramatically are psychosocial factors.”1

Shifting attitudes around self-esteem and relationships, potentially less work- and parenting-related stress, and more time to pursue what makes them happy are just a few of the factors that may give women the freedom to appreciate intimacy in new ways, Dr. Hall explains.

Changes that can have a psychosocial impact on a woman’s life — and a woman’s sex drive after 50 may include:

Fewer Caretaking Responsibilities May Contribute to Increased Perimenopause Sex Drive

The age at which many women approach perimenopause may coincide with a time when their children are getting older, and therefore require less care. “As our kids get older, our level of fatigue and stress from child-rearing and family-raising may begin to lessen,” Dr. Hall says. “This allows for more time to address partnerships, intimate relationships and sexual time.”

This rekindling of intimacy between partners may reach its peak after kids leave “the nest” for college or other adventures; research even shows marital satisfaction improves when children move away from home.2 If a woman happens to be in perimenopause or menopause as her nest empties, she may notice a sudden increase in her libido or sexual desire.

An increased libido in women doesn’t just happen for those who are married during perimenopause, either. According to Dr. Hall, women starting new relationships, perhaps due to divorce or loss of a partner, can also experience a surge in their sex drive in perimenopause. “Research showsimproved sexual functioning and increased libido in perimenopause due to new relationships,” she says.

Improved Self Esteem Can Influence Increased Libido in Perimenopause

“Body image is a big factor in how our libido functions,” says Dr. Hall. When we feel good about ourselves, we may feel more comfortable in the bedroom — and many women find themselves feeling more confident about their bodies as they age.

A massive 2018 analysis of 191 research articles about self-esteem that included data from almost 165,000 people found self-esteem increases gradually throughout middle age before peaking at age 60.4 A more recent study published in the journal Body Image, confirmed this research for women in particular, finding that their self-esteem increased with age and was highest at 60 years old.5

For women who are in perimenopause or menopause, Dr. Hall explains, newfound body confidence could lead to fewer inhibitions (and greater desire) when it comes to sex.

Less Stress at Work May Contribute to Increased Perimenopause Sex Drive

Just as fewer family responsibilities may allow a perimenopausal woman to strengthen intimate connections, so might less stress at work. While it’s certainly not true for everyone, Dr. Hall suggests that perimenopause may happen during the time in a woman’s life when her career is peaking. A stable, not-overly-taxing position at work may allow more time and energy (both physical and mental) to devote to intimacy.

This suggestion makes sense given the toll work stress can take on sexual desire. A 2019 study found 51% of respondents reported they weren’t having sex with their partners because their jobs caused them so much stress.6

Is High Libido in Women During Perimenopause Ever a Problem?

There’s no such thing as “normal” when it comes to sex drive or sexual desire, meaning an increased libido during perimenopause is only a problem if it’s a problem for you (or your partner). Although she doesn’t encounter many patients who complain about an increased libido, Dr. Hall says that if high perimenopause sex drive is affecting your quality of life — if it’s causing problems in your relationship, or if you’re putting yourself in unsafe situations — you should talk to your healthcare provider who may be able to refer you to a sex therapist who specializes in this area.7

It’s also important to remember that you can still get pregnant during perimenopause, so be sure to continue using contraception until you’ve gone through menopause (12 months without a period).8




      Post comment

      I have been googling this for awhile now and not finding much. This article is so helpful. The only thing I don’t know that I agree with is that my increased libido isn’t hormonally related. I think it most certainly is – though I am no doctor. I don’t think much research money is spent on these issues….. I am grateful to read the comments here. For me, sometimes the tingling in my privates is too much – like I don’t want to be touched – it doesn’t feel sexy and feels uncomfortable. Most of the time though, it is okay and my husband is happy to oblige. Sometimes though, I feel guilty – like when he is tired. I mean, we are both 53 and we don’t have as much energy as we once did….The other thing? I need NO lube. Like I am gushing. I don’t require much by way of foreplay like I did when I was younger. I sometimes feel like a freak – lol. Like, am I a nymphomaniac?? Good news is that I only desire sex with my husband…. I joke with him that if he were to complain to other guys about my sex drive he might not get sympathy… It isn’t fair that when we were younger he was ready to go right away and I needed more time - and now it is reversed. Am I right? Also, I have gained weight for no reason this year – 20 pounds! That is disappointing, but I have noticed that many women get rounder in their early 50s only to get slender in their 60s. So I am trying to take a long term view of this and not freak out. Anyway, I would love to talk to other women about this.

      LBKG on

      I am 46 & my sex drive went into overdrive 3 months ago. The sad thing is we discovered my husband has ED & our relationship is suffering because of it.

      Kelli on

      I myself, I am 55 and omg, my sex drive just escalated. I do exercise like jogging of power walking, but omg this is just crazy 😊😊 so I am happy to know , that there’s other women who are experiencing the thing at our mature age

      Royalty on

      Oh gosh, I’m glad it’s not jus tme… Some days I feel like a 15 yr old boy! My husband is also appreciative but when he’s away for work it’s a bit distracting… Can’t say I mind it, but it would be easier if my kids had flown the nest. 😏. I’m hoping it continues and doesn’t just stop.

      Buena on

      Thank you for the information. I am 53 years old and experiencing a HUGE increase in my sex drive. I have been worried about it actually because I did not realize that this can happen at my age. I am married and of course my husband does not seem to mind. I do, however, worry because it seems to consume my every waking moment, ready to go at any given moment!! At least after reading this I feel a little better knowing that I am not the only one.

      HollyLuYah on

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

      * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

      Related Posts

      Trending Articles