Quick! Take a look around. Draw the curtains, pull down the shades, we’re going to talk about it. What’s the big secret? This: Your sex drive can take a hit as you age. Really, it’s no surprise.
It holds true for just about everyone that the older you get, the one activity that once dominated large aspects of your private life can struggle to find its footing amid other stressful concerns like aging parents, planning for retirement, the lives of your children and grandchildren, and of course, sleep.
As a result of these factors, and perhaps in association with a few physical factors, sexual drive has been known to decline naturally as we age. However, it’s not just the physiological factors that can be encumbered by a reduced libido. Romance and emotional closeness can also be affected. This thought is concurred by Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, a sex psycholgist and associate professor of reproductive biology at the Case Western Reserve School Medicine.
“[Libido] is about your body signaling that it wants to be sexual,” Kingsberg says. “Above and beyond horniness, it is the sense of intimacy in the relationship. If you are mad at your spouse, you could be horny but you’re not going to want to be sexual with that particular person.”
It’s because of factors like these that it is important to examine all aspects of sexual desire in order to get to the root of, and eventually solve, the problem.
What Elements Can Contribute to a Reduced Sex Drive?
Unfortunately for many older folks, aging can come with a wealth of side effects, not the least of which is a reduced sexual libido. Here are some common causes of a stunted sex drive among older women.
- Menopause: This is a big one. During this naturally occurring process, a woman’s ovaries stop producing estrogen, the vital hormone in physical femininity. As a result, the vaginal lining can become thinner, arousal may take longer, and muscle tone, lubrication, and vaginal elasticity can be compromised. As a result, women may experience pain during sex, difficulty or inability to climax, and finally, a dramatically decreased libido.
- Interpersonal Relationship Issues: We touched on this before. One big factor in sexual drive is a keen desire in your partner. Many factors can influence how you view your sexual partner, including emotional dissatisfaction within a relationship, partner performance problems, the birth of a child, and having to shoulder the responsibility of caring for aged loved ones.
- Sociocultural Influences: Another factor that shouldn’t be overlooked is the effect of outside forces. Everything from job stress to peer pressure can negatively affect libido, as can an overall social perspectives towards your sexual preferences and overly sheltered social groups that may be unwilling to discuss sex.
- Medical Problems: Many illnesses, disorders, or complications are capable of dealing your libido a solid blow. Mental illnesses like depression for example, can impact a person’s sex drive both mentally, while conditions like endometrosis, fibroids, and thyroid disorders, can impact it physically.
- Medications: Lowered libido is a common side effect of many medicines. This is especially true of antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and oral contraceptives. All of these medications can lower sexual drive in many ways, such as decreasing blood flow and altering brain chemistry.
So What Can I Do About It?
It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to sex as you age, but if you are experiencing issues in this department, don’t worry. There are actually many things you can do that can drastically improve, sometimes even entirely transform, your sex life no matter how much you’ve aged.
- Regular Exercise: Exercise can almost be considered a miracle cure for a number of mental and physical health issues, including a lowered sex drive. It can improve sexual function and desire by improving blood flow and strengthening the heart.
- Limit Tobacco and Alcohol Use: This is another possible solution that gets brought up often, but we wouldn’t recommend it if it weren’t true. Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation can improve blood flow and organ function dramatically. Large amounts of mood-altering substances, like alcohol and tobacco, can dampen secual relexes, trigger hot flashes, and disrupt sleep.
- Try to Have a Little Fun Sometimes: Bringing some enjoyable, light-hearted novelty into your life can have incredible benefits on mental health, which in turn can help you with a sluggish libido. Take vacations, go on dates, and be spontaneous, even if it’s just once in a great while.
- Hormone Therapy: Hormone Replacement Therapy has been shown to have a wealth of positive effects on people of all ages from all walks of life. Renewed Vitality offers safe, effective hormone imbalance treatment options for both men and women. Click here to learn more about what hormone therapy is, and how much it can benefit those looking to reclaim control over their own bodies, minds, and spirits.
It rarely ever gets said, but for many people, sex is important. At Renewed Vitality, we want you to have the opportunity to live your life to the fullest, no matter how old you are. To schedule a consultation or for more information about managing your sex life as you age, don’t hesitate to contact the judgment-free experts at Renewed Vitality today!