Sex changes over time. The frequency, purpose, feeling, all of it. But when should it stop? The easy answer is it shouldn’t have to! There are no hard and fast rules about when women should stop having sex, because every person is different. As we get older, we experience more stress and need relief more than ever. Well, studies have shown that sex relieves stress! But what happens when your body is making it difficult or impossible to have sex as you get older? We have some ideas.
Why Do Sexual Changes Happen As We Get Older?
Hormone levels shift with age and can lower libido and sexual pleasure. While these changes can be minor, some women experience more significant shifts in what sex means for them as they get older.
Once menopause kicks in, women can go through some pretty drastic changes in their sex lives. Many experience decreased libido, difficulty with lubrication, and obstacles related to reaching climax. These issues can typically be traced back to the lack of hormones being produced by the ovaries, in particular estrogen. However, some issues are related to psychological issues including self-confidence issues, general stress, and anxiety.
The common thought about how to handle these kinds of issues is that women experiencing these kinds of sexual dysfunctions should seek out assistance. By having an honest conversation with your doctor about your concerns you may be able to find ways to alleviate and address those concerns. These fluctuations are natural, and can be countered in a variety of ways.
A good chunk of issues that can get in the way of enjoying a sexual relationship can involve the mentality around sex. The way we think about sexual health and relationships has the potential to affect the body’s physical performance. Talking with a sex therapist to get a better idea of how they can improve their mental relationship to sex.
The Sexual Advice Association says that, “Sex therapy is considered highly effective in addresssing the main causes and contributing factors of sexual difficulties.” By working out what exactly your mental blocks are regarding sex, you may be able to shift that thinking or find ways to improve sexual confidence and communication.
This strategy is also effective at helping to identify emotional roadblocks for sexual satisfaction.
When addressing issues related to emotional health, some of the most common causes are depression and anxiety. These problems can arise as the result of hormone imbalances and shifts in the body related to menopause. Because every woman will experience menopause, there are plenty of resources to help identify these issues. You’re not alone!
Discussing these issues with a doctor or hormone specialist can return some solutions that were previously not considered such as hormone therapy. Hormone replacement therapy can help return the balance your body is used to. Sometimes, restoring this balance is exactly what someone’s sex life needs!
While the mental and emotional side of sex is always worth exploring and addressing, the other obvious side to addressing sexual issues involves physicality. Sex is a physical act, and if your body faces challenges when it comes to physical activity, those will transfer over to sexual activity.
Blood pressure, diabetes, and similar issues are common obstacles, and medications used to treat these conditions can affect sex in their own ways. Heidi Godman, the executive editor at the Harvard Health Letter, says that some treatments for these issues “can blunt interest in sex or cause difficulty reaching orgasm.” When you have these medications to make life better in some areas, but they interfere with other important factors, life can be complicated. Discussing these issues with your doctor makes it possible to start exploring other options for medications.
There are some strategies that you can embrace every day that can improve physical health, and will likely have a positive effect on your sexual health. By engaging in exercise and eating a healthier diet, you can increase blood flow and improve your heart health. A proper diet can also give you more energy without weighing you down.
Smoking and drinking can also interfere with how the body functions in relation to sex. Cutting out smoking entirely, and moderating how much alcohol you drink are huge when it comes to getting your sex life back on track.
How To Apply
When you have all of this information and are trying to figure out the best way to go about implementing it into your own life, it can become pretty overwhelming. When you find that the prospect of handling your stress is becoming stressful, it can quickly spiral out of control. As previously mentioned, seeking out assistance should always be a part of your strategy.
By talking with a professional either about your medications, or other physical, mental, or emotional issues related to sex, you’re laying the groundwork to start taking steps. By even talking to someone, you’ve already taken the first ones! Working with your doctor is a key factor when constructing future strategies for improving overall sexual health.
Sex is an important part of life, and getting older doesn’t mean it has to stop! There are ways to adapt to your body’s changing needs, and by exploring those possibilities, you can keep your sex life going strong!