s*x and aging are topics most older women do not want to talk about. The most obvious changes in a woman’s body as she ages come with menopause. During menopause, decreasing estrogen levels cause physical changes that may impact s*xual function. Aging may also bring emotions that can interfere with s*x.
Menopause and Decrease in Estrogen
During menopause, the levels of estrogen are reduced. These estrogen decreases alter the thickness and size of a woman’s reproductive organs.
These changes include:
Loss of elasticity and a thinning of the vaginal tissue
Decrease in the amount of lubrication
Decrease in the size of the clitoral, vulvar and labial tissues
Decreases in the size of the cervix, uterus, and ovaries
The Impact on s*x
These changes alter the experience of s*x in the following ways:
The anticipation before climax decreases
Orgasms may be less intense
s*xual desire may be reduced
However, the sensitivity of the cli**ris remains the same
Medical Procedures and s*xual Desire
Emotions can impact both s*xual desire and s*xual satisfaction. As women age, the changes in their bodies can trigger powerful emotions. Surgical procedures can also change how a woman feels about her own body. Some examples of how aging impacts s*x through emotions includes:
Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and sometimes ovaries): This surgical procedure does not change a woman’s ability to have s*x, though both strong emotions about this procedure and changes in hormones can impact s*xual desire.
Mastectomy (removal of a chest due to cancer): A mastectomy can radically alter how a woman perceives her own beauty and s*xual attractiveness. Open communication with your s*xual partner can help tremendously.
Health Conditions and s*xual Function
Many chronic health conditions can interfere with s*x.
Conditions such as arthritis can make s*x painful. Heart disease can make the physical activity of s*x difficult. . aggressively managing your health conditions, you can improve the quality of your s*xual experiences.
Perception of Aging
How women perceive themselves as they age greatly impacts s*xual desire. In our culture, we are constantly exposed to images of youth. As we age, there is little to reassure women that they are still sexually attractive and beautiful. Because of this, women may lose interest in s*x as they age. Talking about these emotions with your s*xual partner can help relieve some of the stress around body image and aging.