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Change in libido and vagina after going off Pill.
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An_250719 posted:
I am 53 and went off the Pill one year ago January at the age of 51. I had been on the Tri-Cyclen Pill since the age of 23, stopping only to have my daughter at 41 and going back on thereafter. From the moment I went off the Pill I experienced an immediate and dramatic loss of libido and my vagina walls began to burn as if I had a suntan (thin and raw to touch). I also experienced hot flashes that now becoming less frequent. FYI - I've had no periods since stopping the Pill so I am clearly in menopause.

My doctor prescribed a vaginal estradiol pill bi-weekly, and I purchased over-the-counter lubricants. However, the burning remains - less so, but still present, but the most disturbing symptom remains my loss of interest in sex despite no change in the cues or routines - just my interest level and bodily responses.

My question is, would HRT return the libido. I have researched this enough to know that candles and soft music won't cure the drop in dopamine and increase in prolactin that have literally taken the gas out of my engine (mother nature's way of saying I can no longer reproduce so why bother continuing with the cues). Would HRT return my chemistry to the way I was before I went off the Pill? Or do you recommend something else?
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rhondamay responded:
An_250719, welcome to menopause! As a menopause veteran that suffered the same symptoms I can tell you from my experience that HRT is the best answer. I tried oral systemic estrogen of several brands with limited results but had the best success with Femring and Estrace Cream. The Femring is a plastic estrogen emitting ring inserted into the vagina every three months. This combined with Estrace cream applied to the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening and urethral opening works well for me. My libido is not back to where it was at twenty-five but I do enjoy sex without pain twice a week and the lubrication is back. Another thing I learned is that avoiding sex makes it worse. Frequent intercourse is not only good for our self-esteem it is good for our girl-parts. I had my uterus removed years ago so I can safely take estrogen without progesterone. Your GYN can help you decide if these methods are safe for you. It seems with HRT, one size doesn't fit all. But there is help for you.

Good luck,

Rhonda
 
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Claate replied to rhondamay's response:
Thank you! I will definitely discuss with my doctor. I read the Menopause and Sex article on WebMD and found it sorely lacking. The comment that doctors are "looking into a possible estrogen androgen pill..." annoys me. I am guessing there are hundreds of remedies for when a man loses interest in sex, but women? Why waste the research dollars. I don't want the drive I had back at 25...I want the drive I clearly had at 50 that immediately dropped off when I stopped the Pill. So I'm definitely going to discuss some HRT options with my doctor.

And to Dr. Minkin...I am patiently awaiting YOUR response to my dilemma. Are you going to suggest romantic dinners and long walks too?
 
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Anon_596 replied to Claate's response:
haha! Sorry, I had to laugh as romantic dinners and long walks doesn't do it for me either.
 
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rhondamay replied to Claate's response:
Claate , you will find Dr. Minkin to be a very caring and compassionate gynecologist that will give you thoughtful and professional advice. Her kind and considerate responses to posters is what attracted me to this community.

Rhonda
 
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Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to rhondamay's response:
Dear Rhondamay and Claate,
Thank you both for your comments! I hope I can be helpful. Alas the state of research on libido still amounts to "who knows." Claate, the research person whose work you should look into is a woman named Rosemary Basson from British Columbia. She is one of the leading research folks in libido, particularly in menopausal women. (Go to Pubmed on the web, and look up some of her articles.) But I do agree with Rhonda that for many women, a course of systemic estrogen (and the Femring that she mentions does give systemic levels, very much like a pill would-and it also does directly provide moisture to the vagina.) You would need to take some progesterone with it, as you still have the uterus in place. But indeed there certainly are things that would help.
Good luck,
Mary Jane


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