People often make the connection between women and depression as Post Partum Depression. This is when a woman suffers a range of depression after giving birth. The truth is, however, that depression can happen regardless of childbirth, and this depression can definitely impact a woman’s desire to have sex. Not to mention a woman is a bundle of hormones that shift and change every, single month as well as dipping and declining in her elder years. There is much in a woman’s very composition that can make her very prone to depression. If you would like to know how these things can affect your – or her – sex drive, read on. It is important to know about these issues so that you can deal with them or be a supportive partner.
Mikayla’s note: I am not a doctor or medical specialist, my advice here is meant to be general. If you or someone who you care for is suffering from depression it is important that you seek medical advice and care.
POST PARTUM: Let’s just knock this one out of the way immediately, especially since this is a prevalent issue for women who have given birth AND can strike any woman regardless of her mental state before giving birth. Often times even the happiest woman can suffer some level of post partum depression. Who could be surprised? A female is totally flooded with variations of hormones through a 9 month pregnancy, then when the baby is born, most of those hormones simply go away. This leaves many women feeling imbalanced. Add to that the sadness of no longer being pregnant and the stress of having a newborn baby and you have a recipe for hormonal overload and depression.
So guys, I know that it is possible that you have not had much sex in the last months of her pregnancy and you are ready to get back to it. The reality is, your partner may not want to even think about sex for a long while. Childbirth is physically demanding in and of itself, and depression of some sort can affect her desire to have sex. If you are suffering from post partum depression it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that you notify your doctor. Left untreated it can become severely debilitating as well as dangerous in some situations. It is also very important to give yourself time to adjust to being a mother. In time things will balance out and the depression should subside.
HORMONAL FLUX: While depression does strike both men and women, a woman’s physiological make-up causes her to be more likely to suffer from depression. Even PMS, in severe cases, can cause monthly depression and agitation. Oftentimes, a prescription hormone (like a birth control pill) can be offered to help with the symptoms of depression. Furthermore, depending on her level of monthly discomfort, the depression could be linked to the pain of menstruation. This can make her depressed, unhappy, and of course, not interested in sex. If you notice that your monthly visitor is causing you more pain and agitation than you would like, consult your gynecologist about hormone treatment. Also, try to circumvent the depression by working on the unwanted symptoms of your monthly period. In some cases, depression that is caused by PMS can be reduced or eliminated with proper care.
How Depression Affects Male Sexual Desire
MENOPAUSAL MAYHEM: As if having a monthly period wasn’t enough women also get the joy of going through another hormonal shift – MENOPAUSE. In menopause a female’s hormones lower to the point where she no longer has periods. Besides having a whole host of unpleasant side effects (night sweats, weight gain, hot flashes, cramping, bloating, headaches) it also can cause depression. First of all, some women are upset that they are no longer fertile and feel that this takes away from their femininity. Secondly, the changes in their body are often not favorable ones. In a masculine view, being in menopause may seem like a reason to rejoice – no more birth control! However, for a woman this is of little comfort, as her body seems to be rebelling against her. There is a large portion of menopausal (and pre-menopausal) women who suffer from depression during this time.
Common sense would deduce that feeling less feminine may undeniably affect a woman’s sexuality. If you don’t feel desirable and your body feels “different” it will affect your sex drive. Again, this is something that needs to be brought to the attention of your gynecologist. There are many hormonal treatments that can reduce symptoms and bring back the libido. If you think you are in perimenopause or menopause, go to see your doctor. Guys, try to be considerate of your partner during this time. Assure her that she is beautiful and sexy and desirable. This will help her to balance her own negative thoughts. Feeling your body changes, weight gain, realizes your own physical age can cause depression. It is important to seek help for all the symptoms of this change of life and for the depression that goes along with it.
STANDARD DEPRESSION: Of course depression in the run-of-the mill manner can also plague women. IT can be made worse by the aforementioned experiences or life changes, or it could just be a chemical imbalance. When depression strikes it is imperative to get the right medications (or therapeutic help) to assist the person in dealing with depression. Oftentimes when a medical treatment is offered it can cause a reduction in libido along with undesirable physical side effects. For example, some medications can cause a reduction in female lubrication (i.e. vaginal dryness) and weight gain. Both of these unwanted side effects can be detrimental to a healthy sex life – but – both can be treated with medicinal remedies. The important thing is when depression strikes to get help from a medical specialist. There is no need to suffer and no reason for your sex life to suffer as well. If you are having side effects from your anti-depressants, tell your partner as well. He can be vulnerable to your lack of intimacy and wonder if he is the cause. Reassure him as well and allow him to be a source of strength and comfort for you.
Quick recap. If you are dealing with depression: (1) get help from a medical professional (2) tell your partner that you are feeling depressed and ask for patience (3) If you had a baby, do not wait to get help, contact your gynecologist (4) get on the right treatment plan (5) inform your doctor on what side effects you are having (6) Pay attention to your body and the clues it gives you (7) be honest with your partner on these side effects.
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