Once you hit your 40s and 50s, you may have to change your workout routine to accommodate your changing body and its abilities as you age. You may not have considered that life experiences, hormones and stress can play a key role in your sexuality as you get older. With so many distractions and demands on your time, you may find that your usual coping mechanisms are not enough to deal with everything you are facing in the course of a “normal” day. There is barely enough time to do the essentials, much less have time for a sex life, too.
Life Experiences and Lack of Desire
Lack of desire can be linked to a number of factors, and about one in 10 women in the United States report a low interest in sex. It can be connected to another health concern, such as anxiety or depression. If you happen to be living with a mental health concern like bipolar disorder, your interest in lovemaking may vary depending on which mood phase you are currently going through. You may be hyper-interested during a manic period but not interested at all when depressed. People who self-medicate by using drugs (either prescription or over the counter) or alcohol to feel more relaxed or to have the energy to devote to sex when they are already over whelmed run the risk of developing a dual diagnosis and having two health issues that require professional treatment at a drug and alcohol facility. Both of them need to be addressed to provide the best hope of success.
Hormonal Changes and Low Libido
Changes in hormone levels can definitely play a role in whether you feel frisky or not. As you enter the perimenopause phase, progesterone levels will naturally drop and your sex drive may also decrease along with it. Your estrogen levels will start to fall during this stage as well, leading to dryness and thinning of the vaginal wall. Some prescription medications may also produce this side effect. You may notice that intimacy becomes uncomfortable, or even painful in some instances.
Stress as a Sex-Drive Zapper
Chronic stress can have a definite impact on how you feel about yourself and your sex life. The headache you may be feeling is in your head, but may originate in a different part of your life altogether. Disagreements between you and your partner may manifest as headaches that interfere with your sex drive. Low self-esteem and the drive to be perfect is another form of stress that could be getting in the way as well.
What can you do if you are over stressed and not feeling the love in your relationship? Talk therapy can help. A certified sex therapist can help you sort out the issues that are getting in between you and your partner and interfering with your intimate relationship. Scheduling some sessions with a paid listener can help you determine what the issues are and work up a plan to solve them.
Along with seeing a therapist, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your primary care doctor to rule out a physical cause for your lack of interest in sex. Don’t hesitate to bring up this type of intimate subject with your doctor. It’s an important aspect of your health and something that he or she needs to be aware of. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing the issue, you won’t be able to get any advice or treatment to help solve the problem.
In some cases, antidepressant medication may be prescribed. Be sure to ask your doctor what to expect from this type of treatment option. These types of medications do not offer a quick fix, and your doctor or pharmacist can explain what you can expect in terms of a time frame for when you can expect to start seeing results. It pays to be patient and stay the course with this type of treatment. You may need to take the medication for weeks before you start to see an improvement.
With everything going in the average middle-aged woman’s life, it’s not hard to picture why lack of interest in sex would be an issue. It seems as though everyone is running on empty these days. You don’t have to stay in this state, though; there is effective professional help available to help you identify and deal with the complicated issues that may be contributing to the situation.
Lisa McPherson, a graduate of Food and Nutritional Sciences, is a work from home mom and freelance writer who covers topics as diverse as the latest in health research, green food production, family nutrition and health, living with conditions and health education.