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Woman to Woman

Honest talk from an ob/gyn & menopause practitioner dedicated to mid-life women

  • Catherine Hansen

Has anyone seen my libido?

Updated: Aug 24

Meet Susan. She is a 56 year old, professional woman who has finally come to terms with her hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia and made peace with her mood swings, presenting to my office declaring, "my libido has completely disappeared". Susan is not joking and she is not alone. Every day, women at all ages and stages of life get up enough nerve to book an appointment. Some drag along a faltering, speculative and, yet, willing partner while others arrive cautiously unaccompanied. For each, there is a different answer to the hide-and-seek game of where libido has vanished but there are some underlying principles to consider.


Sexual desire, once thought to be spontaneous, unplanned and at-the-ready, is now understood to be far more complex and multifaceted, especially for women and even more-so for menopausal women. Have a look at the schemata by Dr. Rosemary Basson. This model, a convoluted re-make of Masters and Johnson’s linear diagram from the 1960’s, more accurately illustrates how complex women really are. Sexual response is intricate, non-sequential, overlapping and heavily involves mental and emotional components. Want to learn more about how cognition and motivation are tied to innate biological sexual drive and desire? Join us for Meaningful Menopause where all your answer will be answered—coming virtually to a device near you this fall!


Image: Women's sexual dysfunction: Revised and expanded definitions - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Sex-response-cycle-showing-responsive-desire-experienced-during-the-sexual-experience-as_fig1_7858517 [accessed 22 Jul, 2021]