Women’s Sexual health is a vital part of life for women of all ages, but people feel uncomfortable talking about it, and when problems arise, they’re even more unwilling to seek help.
It’s a fact of life that our bodies change as we age. We don’t move as quickly, we don’t recover from injuries as rapidly, and our sexual health declines. Sexual dysfunction can be incredibly challenging for women to accept because good sexual health is valuable for physical pleasure and emotional well-being.
So, what causes sexual health to deteriorate, and is there a suitable way to treat it?
Major Causes of Drop in Sex Drive in Women:
Several factors contribute to women’s low sex drive as they age.
- One reason is that the blood flow toward the genitals decreases with age, making it difficult for women to become aroused and have orgasms. Additionally, the tissues in the vaginal walls can become less elastic, making sex painful.
- Another reason is “menopause,” which is a natural process that typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. During the menopausal transition, the ovaries stop producing eggs, and the levels of the hormone estrogen drop. This decrease in estrogen levels can lead to modifications in vaginal tissue that make intercourse painful, dryness that makes sex less enjoyable, and reduced overall interest in sex, making it harder to get aroused and impacting sexual function. Menopause results in several changes in the body, which give rise to symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can affect the overall quality of life.
- In addition to menopause, other medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer, can cause disturb women’s sexual wellness.
- Specific treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy, and medications, like antidepressants or antihypertensives, can also cause side effects on sexual health.
Remember that aging is not the only factor contributing to declining sexual health in women. You can face less desire at any age, and the causes can include hormonal imbalances, psychological issues such as stress and anxiety, and relationship problems.
What are the Best Ways to Address Loss of Libido in Aging Women?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
From stabilizing our mood swings and energy levels to maintaining our metabolism, hormones are indeed the control centers of our bodies. So a slight variation in hormone balance can profoundly influence our emotional and physical well-being. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a treatment option that works by replenishing the hormones your body loses during menopause. It can help relieve numerous symptoms related to hormonal imbalances, such as weight gain, fatigue, low libido, night sweats, and hot flashes. HRT for menopause involves taking estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone to replace the hormones lost during the menopausal phase and helps improve sexual desire and sexual function.
Often, sexual desire or arousal issues are rooted in psychological factors such as stress or anxiety. Counseling can help address these underlying issues and improve sexual functioning.
How May Hormone Replacement Therapy Help?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help to reduce some of the adverse effects of aging on women’s sexual health. According to the data from Dr. Grady’s study, among the women who used HRT, 43% reported it had helped them enjoy sex more, and 38% said it had allowed them to have sex with less pain during penetration.
(The study was conducted by Dr. Deborah Grady of UC San Francisco and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association).
How Does HRT Work?
HRT can help to treat sexual health decline in women by replenishing the hormones responsible for sexual desire and pleasure.
- Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in libido. As women age, their bodies produce less and less testosterone, which can lead to a decrease in sexual desire. HRT can help to counteract this by increasing testosterone levels back to what they were when the woman was younger.
- In addition to increasing libido, HRT can also help to treat other causes of dyspareunia in women. For instance, vaginal dryness is a common problem that can lead to painful sex. Vaginal atrophy occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough of the lube-like substance called lubricin. Lubricin helps to keep the vagina moist and healthy. HRT can help by increasing lubricin production back to normal levels.
- Lastly, HRT can also help improve mood and energy levels. These are two more important factors that contribute to maintaining good sexual health. Women often experience depression due to body changes or fatigue as they age. Mood disorders can make it even more tricky or challenging to enjoy sex or feel motivated to do it at all. Fortunately, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help to mitigate mood swings and anxiety.
If you’re experiencing any difficulties in your sex life due to aging—whether it is pain during intercourse, vaginal dryness, or lack of interest in sex—you can now get relief by speaking with our hormone experts about your condition and its treatment. Harbor Compounding Pharmacy-affiliated physicians, pharmacists, and hormone experts are highly trained in custom hormone replacement therapies, which they have delivered to their patients for over a decade. Their specialists will guide and motivate you through this challenging time in life so that satisfaction with sex becomes a reality!
While HRT isn’t for everyone (and comes with some risks), it may help improve your quality of life. To evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for HRT, please call us now at 1 (949) 652-6002.