Engaging in sex is both a normal function and an enjoyable experience that is essential to a woman’s personal health as well helping to maintain a viable relationship with her spouse or partner. But as a woman ages, her attitudes about sex may change. How a woman feels physically as well as mentally can play a part in how aging affects her sex drive. Although aging often decreases a woman’s desire for sex, there are many things she can do to alter her libido and enhance her sexual experience.
As women age, their bodies go through many physiological changes that affect how their bodies operate. Perhaps the most significant of these changes is menopause. With a decreased estrogen supply, women often experience a lack of sexual desire. They might also experience more frequent vaginal dryness, which can lead to physical discomfort during sex and a tendency to shy away from it altogether. Similarly, the physical aches and pains of growing older, particularly as a result of arthritis, can be cause for decreased satisfaction in the bedroom.
In additional to the physical changes that women undergo as they age, there are also many psychological influences that can alter how they feel about sex. Even though women might be more secure in their sexual performance as they age compared to when they were younger, they often feel embarrassed about their aging bodies. Similarly, they might feel insecure about how they look after undergoing any medical procedure that alters their appearance, such as a mastectomy or chemotherapy. Often issues with friends, family and work can contribute to an increase of stress, and sex might become less of a priority.
Short bouts of decreased libido are normal, and most women experience a lack of sex drive at some point in their lives. However, women who experience prolonged periods of sexual disinterest might benefit from talking to a general practitioner or gynecologist for a potential diagnoses, as there are several disorders that can cause women to feel “not in the mood.” Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is a lack of sexual thoughts or feelings. Usually this disorder is the result of some psychological influence such as stress, and treatment generally consists of addressing the underlying causes of the stress. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder is the inability to maintain sexual arousal long enough to achieve orgasm. This disorder is more physical in nature and is usually the result of vaginal dryness or irritation of the female genitalia.
Communication and Stimulation
For women who are experiencing a decrease in sexual appetite as the result of aging, the good news is there are several things they can do to increase their libidos, whether alone or with a partner. The key to a healthy sex life is communication and stimulation. Women shouldn’t feel embarrassed or intimidated to communicate their needs and desires to their partners, especially if it might help with arousal. Women who are concerned about painful penetration should consider creams and lubrications as they can ease vaginal dryness and provide a more enjoyable experience overall.
Finally, the desire for sex will be stronger for those women who take care of their bodies properly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly not only keeps a body strong and in shape, it increases the blood flow to the genitalia, which helps to stimulate sexual desire. Similarly, exercising decreases stress, and stress can have a negative influence on the libido. Fueling the body with healthy foods and stopping unhealthy habits, such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, can also help stoke the fires.