Lack of sex drive during menopause is not all down to hormones, researchers say.

Many women in their 60s blame their diminished libido on their husband suffering from erectile dysfunction.

The US study, published today in the journal, Menopause, is based on interviews with dozens of women about their loss of desire for sex. Lead author Dr Holly Thomas, of the University of Pittsburgh, said a surprising number of women identified sexual dysfunction in their male partner as a major contributor.

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"Some women find workarounds, but others get stonewalled by their partner because he feels defensive," she said.

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"As women we're encouraged to be accommodating, so we learn to tamp down our own needs and desires, and prioritise those of others."

The researchers found many women were too stressed to view sex as a priority – one woman said coping with an ailing elderly mother and a daughter's drug addiction reduced her sexual desire.