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Prostate Cancer and Loss of Libido - Menopause versus Manopause

Posted Oct 16 2009 10:02pm

It’s increasingly evident that after prostate cancer many men suffer from a loss of libido. This can occur simply due to the aging process. 

Similarly many women experience a lowered libido after menopause, often reinforced by pain due to vaginal dryness. But this is not true of all women. With aging a number of other women find they may have an increased sexual appetite.

Of those women whose libidos rise, it’s been theorized that many lead a more active sex life after menopause because they no longer worry about getting pregnant. An increasingly active sex life after menopause also coincides with one’s children growing up and leaving the “nest” empty. This can leave a woman feeling a lot less anxious about intrusions in her life despite the stress of an “empty nest syndrome”!

In summary post-menopausal women’s sexuality need not come to a grinding halt. Sure: Once a mother, always a mother. But absence can make the heart grow fonder…of one’s husband and life partner, contrary to a pervasive myth that states otherwise. This may not be true of all women, but it applies to many. 

This is fortunate since I concur with Dr. Ruth Westheimer (as recorded on Web MD) that women would do well to focus on initiating sexual encounters while in their sixties and older, as aging  men tend to have increasingly reduced testosterone levels and may no longer remain as sexually responsive as the once were. 

Others like Jed Diamond argue that a man loses an average of 1% of his testosterone level starting at age 40, when women tend to reach peri-menopause. This may explain why some men’s libido may be on the wane at the middle stage of their lives, leading to what Diamond calls "IMS" or "Irritable Male Syndrome."

In my book and subsequent articles and speeches I address male-female intimacy issues. It's evident that both the book and this blog often focus on how to enhance sexual intimacy after prostate cancer. 

Is it any wonder that I dwell a bit on menopause and even more on what I've dubbed  “manopause”! 

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