It’s no secret that as you age, sex can start to look different from how it did when you were younger. This is a combination of many different factors, from the shifting mental, emotional, and social influences on your life to physical and chemical changes in your body. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing– it’s natural for your sex drive to change and slow down as you get older, and you can still have a healthy sex life no matter your age. It’s good to know what changes to expect, however, and that if you’re struggling with changes to your sex drive as you age, there are routes you can take to help combat the less-than-enjoyable effects. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the evolution of an adult’s sex drive typically looks like. Remember, everyone is different, so these are not hard and fast milestones so much as generalizations.
20s and 30s
You might assume that both men and women have their highest libidos around the same age, but that’s surprisingly not true! In men, testosterone is high in the 20s, and sex drive is usually high along with it.
For women, libido is a little lower during the 20s but tends to go up in the 30s. Sex drive is a very complicated subject, and scientists haven’t conclusively proven why this happens, but it’s generally assumed that there’s a correlation between the increase of sex drive and the decrease in fertility that happens in the late 20s to 30s. High fertility in your 20s might lead to an evolutionary instinct to be more selective about sex.
Most women who have children do so sometime in their 20s and 30s, and this has some serious effects of sex drive, not just during the pregnancy, but afterwards as well. It’s common to experience a boost in libido during the second trimester and be disinterested in sex at other times, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Some women experience an unusually high sex drive during pregnancy, or an unusually low one, or they might be anxious about whether it’s safe (the answer is typically yes, but double check with your doctor if you’re nervous). The stress of raising children can also lead to a decrease in sex drive after the baby arrives.
Around the age of 35, testosterone levels in men start to drop, which can cause a decrease in sex drive as well. These changing hormone levels continue into the 40s, and the decrease might be fairly gradual for some men or faster for others.
Women, on the other hand, tend to have fairly high sex drives and active sex lives in their 40s. Some studies indicate that women around this age are more likely to have sex more often and earlier on in a relationship, as well as having more intense fantasies.
For men, sex drive around this age is usually significantly lower than it was earlier in life, although there’s no reason for this to get in the way of a healthy sex life. Erectile dysfunction does become more common in men as they get older, but this actually has less to do with age and more to do with other health problems that become common with age, like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Medications for these conditions and others can also lead to erectile dysfunction, and you should discuss it with your doctor if it’s becoming a problem.
For women, lowered stress levels from environmental factors like the kids moving out or less worry around getting pregnant might lead to an increased interest in sex, but the onset of menopause can throw a bit of a wrench in the works with hormonoal changes leading to things like vaginal dryness, lowered libido, and mood changes or sleep problems. These are also things you should discuss with your doctor.
What Can I Do?
If you’re struggling with the effects of aging on your sex life, hormone replacement therapy might be a great option for you! At Renewed Vitality, our bioidentical hormones are more efficient and have less adverse effects than synthetic hormones, and giving yourself a boost of testosterone or estrogen as needed can help to get you feeling more normal and get your sex life back on track. If you’re interested in this treatment, please contact us here to learn more!