Sex drive is different for men and women. Besides, sexual interest and drive differ for everyone and can change with age and stage of life. Age-related hormonal as well as physical problems, such as vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction, may alter the sex drive.

However, sex drive does not really reduce with age for some people. And even if it declines, there are various ways to enjoy intimacy and improve love, warmth, and affection with your partner. If you notice a change in your sex drive, you can speak to your doctor regardless of age. They will help determine the underlying cause or change a medicine that might affect your sex drive.

All in all, sex is a beautiful experience, and you can enjoy it throughout your life. It is wrong to assume that sexual activity will go down as you are aging. Manage the effects of age and keep enjoying intimacy.

Normal Changes 

Before moving ahead to the changes in sex drive with age, let us first understand some changes your body goes through when you age.

In Women

Arousal is a complex process for most women. As you age, you will notice a change in lubrication, which may make sex painful or uncomfortable. This vaginal dryness is mainly caused by dropping estrogen levels, especially after menopause. Less lubrication makes the vagina less elastic. This, combined with friction, may make sex uncomfortable.

Your doctor may prescribe lubricants or hormonal therapy to address the issue. As hormonal treatment may increase the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke, it is best to consult a doctor before starting it.

In Men

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem for older men, especially after 50. Some are unable to maintain or achieve an erection, while others may take longer to get one. Besides, for some men, the erection tends to be less full and soft.

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Some ED causes include decreased blood flow to the penis, reduced testosterone levels, less elastic tissue, and impaired nerve function.  

But the primary causes for ED are health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Men with a history of prostate surgery can also have difficulty in getting an erection.

The best way to prevent ED, as you age, is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy diet, quit bad habits such as drinking or smoking, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight to lower your risk of erectile dysfunction.

Your doctor may also advise other treatment options such as a penile pump, hormonal therapy, or medicines to improve your erection.

In Your 20s

Men

The male hormone testosterone is significantly high in your 20s, and so is your libido. But at this age, you may be a little anxious about sex due to inexperience. For the same reason, about 8% of the men in their 20s face erectile dysfunction (ED).

ED is a condition where a man cannot get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex. This problem can happen due to mental health or medical problems. ED may also indicate a high risk of heart disease.

If you notice any change in your erection, especially in the absence of any health condition, it is best to consult your doctor.

Women

You are likely to be more fertile in your 20s than in the following years. This may make you selective about if and when you want to have sex. However, the exact reason for this is not known.

Scientists believe that sex drive in women goes up as fertility starts to decline.

In Your 30s and 40s

Men

The majority of the men continue to have a healthy sexual desire in their 30s and 40s; however, testosterone starts declining around the age of 35. It is estimated that sex drive goes down by 1% per year. But this may be faster in some men.

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All this could alter your sex drive.

It is essential to understand that while testosterone is important for getting aroused, it is not clearly known why this happens. It may be different for every man. Although testosterone levels indeed reduce with age, the evidence of how this may affect the sex drive is not strong enough.

Some men with high or normal testosterone levels may have sexual problems, while those with low levels have a normal sex drive. Besides, for many men, the stress of family, other commitments, and work may influence how interested you are in sex.

Women

During these years, your sex drive is the strongest. Studies have shown that women between the age of 27 and 45 had more intense sexual fantasies than older or younger women.

It is also seen that women in this age group had more sex and are more likely to have sex sooner in a relationship.

Women with Kids

At any age, childbirth and pregnancy may significantly impact your sex drive, although it is different for everyone. 

Your body goes through hormonal changes throughout pregnancy. This may result in a reduced sex drive at some times, while an increased drive at others, especially during the second trimester.

Unable to understand whether it is safe to have sex during pregnancy may also result in anxiety. Raising kids, breastfeeding, and other activities may also affect the energy, time, and interest in sex. 

In Your 50s And Beyond

Men

While age is not the only factor for ED, the risk does increase as you age. It may be possible that your erections are less firm and happen less often.

Health issues that are more likely with age, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disorders, and high cholesterol, may also reduce your sex drive. If you are in good physical and mental health no reason should hold you back from enjoying sex.

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Even if you have ED, you can talk to your doctor to understand your options to manage it.

Women

During this phase, less anxiety about getting pregnant may make may female more interested in sex. But as you approach menopause, your estrogen levels reduce, resulting in vaginal dryness and comparatively low sex drive.

Anxiety, sleep problems, hot flashes, and weight gain may also affect your mood and lower your sex drive. Talk to your doctor about hormones, medicines, lubrication, and other treatment options to improve your libido.

Management of Low Sex Drive

If you notice any change in your sex drive, it is best to talk to your doctor as it could sign an underlying condition.

If the physical response is a problem, your doctor may prescribe drugs to boost sexual arousal. Examples include flibanserin and bremelanotide for women and tadalafil and sildenafil for men. Your doctor may also advise hormones to improve your sex drive, testosterone for men, and estrogen for women.

Open Up with Your Partner

Opening with your partner is the best way to be close to them. You can ask your partner about their desires and needs and communicate about your needs to them. This can keep you both interested and engaged in sex.

Be honest about your emotional and physical satisfaction. Setting aside time to be intimate may also be a good idea.

Final Thoughts

Sex drive and sexual health are an integral part of well-being and overall health. So, do not give up when things are different as you age, assuming it is normal. Communicate openly with your partner and explore ways comfortable for both of you. Intimacy can keep your relationship strong and make you happy, no matter your age.

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