Sex After Menopause

Dr. Donnica Moore discusses post-menopausal sex drive.
5:44 | 10/17/11

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Transcript for Sex After Menopause
There are some surprising results from a new study by the woman's health initiative on rapes and sexual activity after menopause. Not only are women continuing to be sexually active in their seventies and eighties most are satisfied with their sex the highest. -- -- results of the study is doctor dot Michael Moore president of the -- fire woman's health group -- my thanks so much for joining us -- and I think this is surprising to a lot of -- a lot of people assume that after menopause women are no longer interested. And -- so first of all what. Was this study looking at in particular I think is that he's going to be more surprising to men and two women. What this study was essentially was a component of the Women's Health Initiative which is the longest running study ever. In our country's history to federally funded study. Of over almost 200000 women participated. This was a subset questionnaire study to 27000. Plus of those women -- fifty to 79. And it looked at their sexual frequency so that's glitches in this studies that they define sexual satisfaction as friends every Wednesday with -- As -- I have a little discussion about yet. But -- just take frequency as a marker of sexual satisfaction and they asked women where they satisfied with the frequency of their sexual activity. At baseline at the beginning of their study at one year and then they took a subset of this news and an 8% of them. And -- questioned them at three years in six years of follow up. And what they -- is them. Majority of these women were satisfied with their sexual frequency of the women who we disc set aside. 57%. -- -- dissatisfied because they weren't having enough sex. And that's interest saying and only 8% of women were dissatisfied because they're sexual frequency was more than they would likes of those women need to speak up write about a sexual activity does the -- decrease with age right it as far as the frequency but the study found that net costs. Wasn't really in the primary cost for that right this is the most interesting I think right and this is I think the most impact -- point of this study. Is it will debunks that myth that after menopause women are dried up and not interest it right so -- these women. Who were sexually active at baseline and then no longer sexually active or their sexual satisfaction decreased. At one year the reasons they gave number one more loss of a partner. Don't you know more than 50%. Of couples are getting divorced and of course women live longer than men and generally marry or become partnered with men who are older. -- -- certainly more likely to become widowed. In this age category and treason was dissatisfaction with life in general and and that led to the third reason which was depression. That dissatisfaction with life in general is I'm not quite depressed and -- mostly except that I lost my job and my kids who graduate from home or whatever it is. And and the reason -- other health problems from now of the problems and of course any health problem can interfere with your interest in sex. Or your ability to have sex. Put -- the health problems one of the health problems. That was clearly an issue identified. In women who were not having as much sex as they would've liked. Is vaginal atrophy. Or what we refer to as -- people as vaginal dryness right. Now this is a very common problem after men upon us of course what happens in men and -- -- body stopped producing enough estrogen. And then. Everything that is estrogen sensitive is at risk but that doesn't affect desired effects that physically -- going on eight. It's technically affects your comfort -- sex. But that of course can also that affect your desire because of sex is painful or uncomfortable you're not going to be that -- -- In doing it again so of course female sexuality is a very complex. A very complex situation based on a lot of factors other than what's going on a small piece of real estate and studies specifically. -- -- were part of a hormone a hormone replacement therapy group was there any discrepancies. Found between women receiving. Hormone therapy and those that weren't any difference and yes that's a great question what they found is that at the three year follow up and a six year follow up. The women who happened to be on hormones. Did report greater sexual satisfaction. With the frequency of their sexual intercourse and -- -- and because of some of these physical issue absolutely and most likely because of very specifically the vaginal atrophy issue because of course the gold standard. For prevention and treatment of vaginal atrophy. He's estrogen cream or estrogen therapy. Of course any woman who's watching this who has vaginal atrophy are vaginal discomfort of any kind. Needs to talk to her gynecologist. I think we all need to think about how sage group now is all that fifty to 79. And older and older. Need to think -- are we satisfied with our sexuality are we satisfied with her sexual relationships and it's -- what are the steps we need to take to -- them. Do you think in the end to this sort of has implications for treatment and how we view women in this age category and and -- and their sex lives I think the first thing it has is implications for the questions we ask -- And the assumptions that we make I think there are many doctors who don't even at women over fifty. About their sexual satisfaction they think it OK that's. Would be insulting -- it's not editing my how -- and a right I think also women in that age group may need to speak up to their doctors if it's a medical problem. And this study did -- three major medical problems that can interfere with your sexual frequency certainly depression vaginal atrophy and then. The whole host of other. Which is everything from chronic diseases to orthopedic problems we'll have to leave it there are very complicated topic but an interesting study doctor Donna Moore thanks so much for joining thank you Stephanie.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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