Blame it on the age or blame it on the hormone, research shows that women's sexual problems are common in postmenopausal women. Most women, near their time of menopause, do feel a lower sex drive or libido. So should menopause be hauled up for being the culprit? Well, you would be surprised to know, the answer is actually NO. Menopause is just one of the reasons that lead to lower libido in older women. So what are the others? Let’s see here the list of reasons that attribute to lower libido in women between the ages of 40 and 60:
Lower estrogen levels: Menopause causes estrogen levels to lower in a woman’s body, leading to problems like a dry vagina or a tighter one with less elasticity. This can make sexual intercourse really painful. So naturally, since no one enjoys a painful sex, some women do refrain from it. But this condition can be solved either by the use of water-based lubricant or estrogen creams which can be topically applied to provide relief.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in partners: In a study conducted on a focus group of 21 postmenopausal women, most women said that their libido was affected more by their partners suffering from ED than the effects of menopause. Many men in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond suffer from erectile dysfunction, leading to unsatisfactory sexual experiences for their partners. These women then lose interest in sex.
Stress: Midlife stress is something that no woman can get away with. With teenage children, job responsibilities, financial burden, looking after aging parents, all can take a toll on their physical and mental health. Since the changes in hormone levels that happen during menopause already make her irritable and depressed, this additional stress just makes things all the more difficult for her.
Body image: Many women tend to get conscious about their bodies post-menopause. Some feel they have gained weight while others get worried about their wrinkles and loose skin. They feel they are not attractive anymore and this naturally impacts their libido. They become too conscious to enjoy sex just the way they used to when they were younger.
Fatigue and body pain: It’s but natural that with age aches and pains do set in and so does the fatigue. So the eagerness to have sex goes down. Many find it painful to have sex owing to arthritis or joint pain or enjoy certain positions that they previously used to. To prevent this situation, women should start focusing on Vitamin D and Calcium intake once they reach their 30’s since women are more susceptible to diseases like osteoporosis than men.
But there is nothing to feel disheartened since most of these situations can be addressed by making some simple changes in lifestyle. If a woman is suffering from severe loss of libido, then she should speak to her doctor about it. She can be prescribed estrogen or hormonal replacement therapy, depending on the severity of her problem. If the problem is mainly psychological then a sex therapist would be a better person to consult. But the most important part would be to understand each other and communicate. Intercourse doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all of sex. Sensuous touches, kisses, hugs, and foreplay can the do the magic as well, as long as the partners understand each other.