Is anyone in menopause and having trouble with libido?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dianne1, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. dianne1

    dianne1 New Member

    Along with CFS, Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, etc. I am in menopause and have no libido. Does anyone have this problem?

  2. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Libido is an issue for many women in menopause.

    It is especially a problem for many women with CFS because our endocrine systems are weak as it is.

    Bioidentical hormones are frequently used to increase libido in pre-menopausal or post menopausa women. These may include:

    1) Supplemental estrogen

    Patches (such as Vivelle) include one of the estrogens, estrodiol. Creams may include either one of the estrogens (usually estriol, the mildest) or all three (estrone, estrodiol and estriol--known as Tri-Est).

    For those who are low in estrogen, supplementation increases lubrication and "receptive" interest in sex. It also decreases hot flashes and improves mood.

    2) Supplemental progestereone

    If estrogen is used, progesterone should be used with it. Bioidentical progesterone can be taken orally (in capsules under the prescription name Prometrium) or in prescription creams. (Very weak cream is available over the counter.

    3) Supplemental testosterone

    Women's active libido (at at least to some extent, ability to orgasm) is controlled by testosterone, produced by the adrenal glands. Especially since many CFS patients have weak adrenals, this may be a problem.

    Bioidentical testosterone may be taken orally. The usual dose is 2 mg per day or less. I believe it is only available through compounding pharmacies. In addition to increasing general libido, oral testosterone may increase feelings of self-confidence and motivation (in those who were previously testosterone deficient).

    Testosterone cream is also available through compounding pharmacies. I have had two different doctors prescribe it for me. The strength of the cream they have provided is very high---100 mg/gram. A very small amount is applied to the clitoris (daily for the first few weeks, then a few times a week thereafter) in order to specifically increase sex drive and ability to orgasm.


    The best book I have found on this subject is called "Natural Hormone Treatments for Women" (something like that) by Uzzi Reiss M.D. This is highly recommended.

    In order to obtain these products, you will need to consult with a doctor familiar with bioidentical hormones. Fortunately, these uses of bioidentical hormones have been established for at least 10 years, and a number of doctors are starting to use them in their practices. It seems unlikely to me that you will find an endocrinologist willing to prescribe them. A few PCPs or gyns might be willing, but most probably will not. The best bet is to seek out someone who specializes in this area.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/10/2006]
  3. dianne1

    dianne1 New Member

    Thank you for your prompt response. I was seeing one doctor regarding bioidentical hormones and because I wasn't agreeable to a saliva test, he wasn't so happy with me. I missed one appointment, I did call to cancel and the next appointment he dismissed me from his practice, real ego tripper. A friend of mine is finding the same thing with his attitude. I am going to go to another doctor who specializes in bio-identical hormones and is supposed to be very nice, I am going to make an appointment tomorrow; hopefully the wait to see him won't be too long. It is just another frustrating issue to deal with. One gynecologist told me to use Replens a few times a week and I have been doing that.[edited for content] Why can't anything be simple, I will not take synthetic HRT as my mom has had a double mastectomy and that petrifies me. Hopefully I will find something that works soon.
  4. natrlvr2

    natrlvr2 New Member

    I don't think I will ever have a low libido,I am single and deprived.LOL.
    Good luck though.Not fun.
  5. Chris3251

    Chris3251 New Member

    I had a decreased libido, but it only lasted maybe a year. I didn't take any hormone replacements because with my Factor V I can't take anything with estrogen or other hormones. After my hysterectomy I started taking Black Cohosh which is a root you can buy over the counter. I've heard all the nightmare stories about menopause but I have to say I totally sailed through it. I think I had one hot flash and that was it. I totally lucked out.

    If anyone takes Black Cohosh, I have a huge bottle left. If anyone wants it you're more than welcome to it. I don't need to take it anymore and its just taking up space in my medicine cabinet.
  6. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Why did you not want to take a saliva test?
  7. NancyDiane

    NancyDiane New Member

    I believe you have to take a saliva test to see what hormones you need. I did that and found I was lacking in progesterone - since my doctor prescribed the bioidentical hormones for me I have felt great. Fatigue and other symptoms gone.
  8. cozykitten

    cozykitten New Member

    I don't even HAVE a libido anymore and I hate it!! I have an appt. with a GYN for the end of January, soonest I could get in. I am definitely in the middle of menopause, along with all the symptoms.
    I'm crazy in love with my husband, so that's not an issue. He has been as patient as any man can be expected to be. But I'm impatient with myself.
    I'll spit in a jug all day long if that is what it takes to test my hormones. But I'm scared to death to take any hormones. I've lost 2 friends to breast cancer, both taking hormones. I have 3 other friends who have had breast cancer and one is losing the battle. All were on hormones. So what is a girl to do??
  9. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The association that has been scientifically shown to exist in women between cancer and hormones was not with bioidentical hormones.

    The estrogen used in these studies comes from horses. This is where the name comes from-- PREgnant MARe urINe.

    This estrogen is only somewhat similar to othat made by the human body. It also includes a number of other estrogens and other substances that are foreign the women's bodies.

    The progesterone used in those studies was not bioidentical either. It is a chemical form, I believe simply known as Progestin (although there may be a more specific brand name).

    Pharmaceutical companies created these drugs specifically so that they could sell them for large amounts of money while they were under patent. Although to my knowledge the patents have since expired, doctors continue to use them since they are familiar with them from past experience. (Progestin also a better birth control device than natural progesterone, and its use in hormone replacement was extended from its development for that purpose.)

    Bioidentical hormones cannot be patented, meaning that drug companies had little incentive to brand them and promote them to doctors or patients.

    There has been no testing on the correlation between bioidentical hormones and cancer or any other disease.

    It may be that it was indeed the presence of estrogen and progesterone past menopause that caused the cancer. Some medical practitioners--especially those who know little of bioidentical hormones--argue that.

    It also may be that one or more of the substances foreign to the human body in either the horse estrogen or the non-bioidentical progestin was what caused the cancer. Medical practitioners who specialize in bioidentical hormones tend to lean toward this argument.

    After considering the information currently available, I personally have chosen to take bioidentical hormones. Others must make their own choice.

    This issue is discussed in length in the book "Natural Hormone Therapy for Women" (or it may be "Natural Hormone Treatment for Women") by Uzzi Reiss M.D.
  10. cozykitten

    cozykitten New Member

    I have never heard of bioidentical hormones. How do you know if that is what a doctor is prescribing for you?
  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    It has been a couple of years since I have looked into this, but to my knowledge the only bioidentical products sold by pharmaceutical companies are the following:

    Bioidentical Estrogen:
    Patches containing bioidentical estradiol only. These are sold under the names Vivelle, Climara and possibly a few others. They are small patches (about 1" square) worn like a nicotine patch.

    Bioidentical Progesterone:
    Sold in softgels under the brand name Prometrium.

    Unless a drug company has introduced a branded bioidentical hormone within the past couple of years, these are the only bioidentical estrogen, progesterone or testosterone hormones that you will be able to get at a regular pharmacy.

    All other bioidentical hormones (estrogen, progesterone or testosterone) will need to be obtained through a compounding pharmacy.

    If anyone is aware of any new bioidentical hormones sold by regular pharmaceutical companies, please chip in.

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