A US study showed that HRT patches made sex less painful and more enjoyable in mid-life, working better than a daily pill.
Women whose love lives fade after menopause, showing less interest in their partner and having fewer orgasms, as well as physical problems, are classed as having “low sexual function”.
But taking HRT through their skin using patches was found to improve this in the study of 670 women. The women in the study were aged between 42 and 58 and had gone through menopause within three years. Many women see a slump in their sex drive at this time because of the loss of oestrogen in their bodies.
While some may be put off sex by the fatigue and hot flushes caused by menopause, many more find making love painful because the loss of the sex hormone, oestrogen, reduces the amount of natural lubrication they produce. The condition also affects regions of the brain that control mood and desire.
But the researchers found oestrogen patches helped with the pain significantly, working better than allowing nature to take its course or taking a daily HRT pill. After 18 weeks, women reported more desire, sexual satisfaction and orgasms, although this effect faded away with time, suggesting that women’s libido is not linked only to pain when having sex. - Daily Mail