What do you do when your sex drive seems to have disappeared? Rebecca Brody explains.
I am in my early 50's and have a low libido. I have been married for 26 years and rarely do I have a desire to have sex with my husband. I have not been real sexual anyway, but now it seems like I don't have any desire to do anything.
Can you advise me on how I can get into the mood and increase my libido? Is there medication? Should I talk with my doctor?
Many women struggle with having a low libido, so let me first point out that you are not alone. Having a low libido can impact your identity, life and relationships in negative ways, which is why it is important to address it. With age, women experience perimenopause, which transgresses to menopause, and with less estrogen circulating in your body it feels like your libido has flown the coop. Estrogen heightens your mood, maintaining your interest in sex, as well as stimulating your erogenous zones to increase sensation and make sex pleasurable. Low levels of estrogen can lead to lack of desire, and as the vaginal walls dry they contract, leading to painful intercourse. Physically, the less sex you have, the more painful it can become. Testosterone also plays a role in a woman's libido, and though present in small amounts, it is that pinch of salt that seasons the whole dish. Without it, your sex drive plummets.
Although modern medicine has created Viagra, a solution for the male libido, the female sex drive is multifactorial, therefore influenced by both physical and emotional stimuli. That being said, there are medications to help increase your libido, which you should discuss with your doctor. Be aware that these medications do have side effects, so ask a lot of questions before deciding to go that route. Another treatment is Zestra, a genital massage oil comprised of a proprietary blend of botanicals that increases arousal, desire, pleasure, genital stimulation and ability to orgasm. To help hydrate the vaginal tissue try a vitamin E oil, which can be rubbed directly on the vagina several times a week. When you do have sex, make sure to use lubricant.
Addressing the emotional side of your libido will require you to explore intimacy and romance in new ways with your husband. You will have to experiment to learn what turns you on emotionally and visually to help get your mind in the right frame for sex. Try reading erotic literature, as this type of stimuli can heighten your sexual emotions. If you're a visual person, try adult films. Explore your fantasies, and dream about how you want to be touched. The more you work to get your mind in a sexual space, the better your experience will be.
As frustrated as you might be with the decline in your libido, know that there is nothing wrong with you. This is common in women your age, and is the normal right of passage for a woman's body. To maintain connection with your husband, think about new ways to be intimate and create new experiences that will help grow the bond between you.
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Rebecca Brody is a relationship coach and columnist in NYC. She hosts www.ImprovDates.com, and works with private clients. Send your questions to Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or visit her at www.TheLuvCoach.com.