New attitudes to sexuality in the menopause: clinical evaluation and diagnosis

R E Nappi
Climacteric: the Journal of the International Menopause Society 2007, 10 Suppl 2: 105-8
Sexuality is a critical issue at menopause for many women. Several biological, psychological and socio-relational factors are related to women's sexual health and they may negatively affect the entire sexual response cycle, inducing significant changes in desire, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction. Age- and menopause-related events may impair the integrity of multiple biological systems involved in the normal sexual response of women, including hormonal environment, neuromuscular substrates and vascular supplies. Sex hormones, namely low levels of estradiol, physical and mental well-being and, very importantly, feelings for partner are extremely relevant for women's sexuality in natural menopause. Even a significant lack of androgens, as more frequently occurs in surgical menopause, has a negative impact on women's desire and sexual responsiveness. Sexual history and clinical evaluation may help doctors to accurately diagnose sexual symptoms causing personal and relational distress and to identify the best therapeutic approach.

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