Sexuality after 40 – Use it or Lose it!
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Sexuality in women over 40? Does it exist? For most people its really not an issue because if you’re over 40:
- you’re probably not having any more kids so why should you be thinking of having sex?
- you should have grown out of it and should be interested in more “down-to-earth” things.
Do younger women have sex just to have kids? Can anyone outgrow the need for closeness and companionship?
Sexuality is a gift, something to celebrate, no matter what age you are! At the most, at this stage of life it may evolve and take on a slightly different form.
Encouraging sexuality in elderly women can result in a happier and more fulfilled life. However, several factors may affect women over 40 sex drive.
Factors that influence sexuality at this time may be positive or negative.
Positive factors include:
- good physical and mental health
- an ongoing satisfactory sexual relationship
- regular intercourse.
Negative factors include:
- physical ill health
- negative mental attitude especially about your body
- an unsatisfying sexual relationship
- vaginal soreness or dryness
Problems of menopause, perimenopause and women over 40 sex drive
Menopause is quite a major change for women but just like everything else in life, it’s a transition which is more uncomfortable for some women than others.
The main features of perimenopause and menopause occur because the ovaries have run out of eggs. This leads to an imbalance between the main female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. This causes:
- irregular periods
- hot flushes and night sweats
- narrowing of the vagina and thinning out of the lining. This can lead to itching, burning, bleeding and loss of natural lubrication.
- urinary problems such as inability to hold back urine (incontinence), painful urination and inflammation (irritation) of the bladder lining.There are also associated long term health issues such as heart and blood vessel disease, diabetes and arthritis. Apart from these, you also tend to put on more weight around this time due to water retention and shifting of fat to the hips and abdomen. All these can have a negative effect on how you look at yourself and your sexuality so sex drive may be affected. What many people may not know is that you actually lose your inhibitions as you get older.
Children may have left home, household chores may be less tedious leaving you more privacy and opportunity for intimacy with your partner. In up to 1 in 6 postmenopausal women actually report increased sex drive compared to premenopausal levels.
Benefits of encouraging sexuality in women over 40
- It maintains the vaginal lining with increase in lubrication even without specific treatment. Women who have sexual intercourse at least 1-2 times /week right through menopause have less wasting of the vagina and achieve more and faster vaginal lubrication during intercourse than those who aren’t.
- It creates asense of well-being.
- You’re less likely to feel depressed, will have a more positive outlook on life and have more self-confidence.
Steps for maintaining and enhancing your sexuality before, during and after menopause
- Everything starts in your mind. Embrace your sexuality as an important part of you, no matter what your age. If you think you’re attractive, then you can be.
- Get treatment for vaginal and urinary symptoms. These can usually be relieved with a good natural progesterone cream
- Applying a good natural estrogen cream (e.g. Emerita Phytoestrogen Body Cream) directly to the vagina 2-3 times/week may be the fastest way to relieve these symptoms while minimizing the effects of estrogen on other parts of the body.
- Some do not want to use estrogen for various reasons. If you’re one of them, you may like to try estrogen alternatives for bladder irritation and vaginal symptoms.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle – regular exercise, a balanced diet and regular health check-ups.