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Keeping Sexual Desire in Sync Past Midlife

Sexual HealthJan 20, 06

When it comes to desire and drive for sexual intimacy, many women at midlife find they are no longer in sync with their partners.

Although many people assume that a decrease in sexual desire inevitably occurs at midlife, that’s not necessarily the case. Age has less of an impact on sexual desire than does general health and availability of a willing and able partner.

But aging does play a role, according to the Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource. After menopause, thinning of the vaginal tissues and decreased lubrication may cause pain or discomfort during sexual stimulation. Less hormonal flucuation in women can pose a challenge; couples need to become more creative in their lovemaking, allowing additional time and stimulation for arousal.

Honest and open communication between partners is the first step in negotiating the discrepancies that occur. Don’t get into a power struggle but seek a compromise. The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource offers suggestions that could help:

  • Review your medications and talk to your doctors about options for changing those that may inhibit desire.
  • Exercise regularly—Staying fit can improve the feeling of attractiveness and increase energy, likely leading to feelings of desirability.
  • Use a lubricant or vaginal estrogen to help with vaginal dryness.
  • Discover what meets your intimacy needs and share those with your partner.
  • Talk about differences in sexual desire with your partner and clearly express your needs and desires.
  • Try to view menopause and midlife as one more change—it may open doors to new journeys.

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