Your sex drive does tend to dip as you grow older, but it is only one of the reasons as to why you just can't get into the mood. For women, there are a lot more factors involved.
Growing older means that there are a lot of changes our body gets hit with. And one of them, a major one, is our sex drive.
According to Harvard Health, the myth that only younger people enjoy a good sex life clearly needs to be busted. They quoted a 1999 survey conducted by the AARP and Modern Maturity magazine which stated that the percentage of people aged 45 and older who consider their partners physically attractive, increases with age. But then if you don't feel the interest in engaging in sex or even masturbation, you might be wondering why it is happening to you. You might even ask yourself if this lowered sex drive is normal or if it just you.
There are multiple reasons as to why you might not be feeling "in the mood." It can range from declining hormones and job stress to relationship issues. And this issue isn't just in your head. The medical term for the loss of sexual desire is known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), according to WebMD. And it affects women across all ages. A study in the NCBI showed that almost one-third of women aged 18 to 59 suffer from a loss of interest in sex.
For women, sexual drive issues stem from a combination of mental and physical stress. "Women's sexuality tends to be multifaceted and fairly complicated," says sex psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D. "Although we would love to simplify it so we could have the one-two or even a one-punch treatment, it doesn't tend to work that way."
Healthline mentions that there is no specific test to diagnose HSDD. Factors like intimacy, emotional well-being, experiences, lifestyles, stress, and your relationships can all play into lowering your desire for engaging in sexual intercourse. However, the causes can be broadly categorized into four types, according to Mayo Clinic:
1. Physical causes
- Sexual problems: If you experience pain during sex or find yourself unable to achieve an orgasm, you can lose interest in sex.
- Medical diseases: Any type of disease can affect your desire to engage in sex. Those suffering from cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
- Medication: Certain types of medicines can have lowered libido as a side effect. If you want to be informed of which ones they are, speaking to a doctor can help.
- Lifestyle: Drinking too much alcohol or working too much without proper rest can dull your arousal and thus decrease your sex drive.
- Fatigue: Taking on too many responsibilities or recovering from illnesses and surgeries can also affect your interest in having sex.
2. Psychological Causes
- Mental health: If you are suffering from problems such as anxiety or depression, your mood will dip and as a result, so will your libido.
- Stress: Stress over financial or work matters can also affect how you want to address your desire.
- Poor body image: For women who have low self-esteem and poor body image, they might feel undesirable.
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- Previous negative sexual experiences
3. Hormonal causes
- Menopause: Since estrogen levels drop during menopause, not only does interest in sex wane, so does lubrication in the vaginal tissues which could result in painful intercourse. While some women have an increase in libido, many other women experience the opposite.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Hormone changes during pregnancy or just after giving birth can put a spoke in sex drives. Here, fatigue, change in body image, and stress of having to care for a newborn can just add to the pressure on your body and cause you to feel tired all the time.
4. Relationship causes
For many women, physical and emotional intimacy is an important factor in arousal. Problems in your relationship could be one of the reasons that you just might not be feeling it. Especially if you face these issues:
- Emotional distance from your partner
- Unresolved fights
- Lack of communication, even sexual communication
- Problems with trusting your partner
Any one or a combination of these issues can severely lead to a drop in your libido. In order to be sure about the cause, however, it is recommended that you visit a doctor.