Midlife sexual health tips
Have you lost that loving feeling? Afraid it's gone for good? Lack of libido may become more likely with age, but it isn't necessarily a permanent consequence of getting older. In fact, a study on married men and women showed that 87 percent of married men and 89 percent of married women in the 60- to 64-year-old age range are sexually active. If your sex drive is on the decrease (and your age is on the increase), here are a few midlife sexual health tips and treatments that can boost your sexual desire and performance.
Sexual changes are inevitable
Age-related changes occur throughout your body, encompassing changes in your cognitive ability, physical health and performance below the belt, just to name a few. Hormones are often to blame, especially when it comes to libido.
"For both women and men, the two hormones that affect sexual physiology -- estrogen and testosterone -- often decrease during midlife," explains Dr Marilyn Mitchell, a ChicagoHealers.com practitioner. "As a result of these decreases, the most common symptoms we notice are a decreased libido [desire] and changes in sexual response."
Four components of sexuality
Sexual health is a complexity of factors that include both body and mind. According to Dr Mitchell, who specializes in women's health and gynecology, midlife can challenge four components of sexuality:
- Sex role behavior
- Sexual desire (libido)
- Sexual response
To bolster sexual health and liven up your libido, all four of these components must be addressed.
Tips and treatments to improve sexual health and performance
Dr Mitchell suggests seeking professional help with healers who specialize in the following treatment options:
1. Medications. Medications commonly used include bioidentical testosterone supplementation, either oral or cream. This usually accompanies hormonal treatment with bioidentical estrogen or progesterone in an oral form or as a cream for local external or vaginal treatment.
2. Medication review. Medicinal treatment may also extend to adjunctive antidepressants for you or your partner or a change in current therapy for other diseases. Some antihypertensives and antidepressants may alter sexual function in men and women.
3. Herbal therapy. Herbal therapies include the herbs damiana for improved libido, Chinese ginseng for improved libido, potency and fertility, and yohimbe. Ashwaganda is also helpful on a long-term basis for improving sexual response. Talk to an herbalist and your doctor about taking these herbal supplements; don't start taking them on your own.
4. Therapy. A therapist can teach you behavioral approaches that can help improve your sexual satisfaction. A change in sexual foreplay, for example, can accommodate changes in each partner and rekindle interest. Couple therapy may also prove helpful. Intimacy "planning" can help when this part of life seems to get squeezed out.
5. Energy work. Energy healing has profound effects on improving sexual health and connection. Higher levels of healing, as used in energy touch work, can assist with connections through multiple sets of chakras and quickly improve sexuality on the physical, emotional, spiritual and relational levels.
Communication is imperative
When dealing with changes that affect sexuality, it is important to approach this with the same openness and honesty that you use in other areas of your relationship and your health. By working on specific symptoms and improving communication, you can achieve a healthy sense of sexual balance.
Don't despair if your libido seems limited, and certainly don't ignore it, thinking a lack of sexual desire is the norm for your age. Keep the lines of communication open with your partner, and seek professional help to find treatments that will boost your sexual health.