Although issues related to sexuality are little discussed, it is still extremely important to bring them up, especially when they concern women’s intimate health. One such little-addressed example is the aging of female sexual desire, which over the years can be affected, and even harmed.
Yes, the aging of the organism can affect sexual appetite, and this problem can be caused by a number of causes, such as biological, psychological and also sociocultural factors. Over the years, the resulting drop in sex hormones and long relationships with monotonous sex scripts, can influence the drop in libido.
But to understand a little more about this aging female sexual appetite, it is first necessary to understand why libido is so necessary throughout life.
The importance of libido
According to Aline Ambrosio, gynecologist, obstetrician and sex therapist, libido is a life energy that moves us to connect with someone or with ourselves, and it can have some goals when pushing us towards sexual contact: procreation, pleasure, strengthening bonds of intimacy or even for the expression of the masculine or feminine.
According to Ambrosio, if the main motivation for sex is to reproduce, fertility problems or aging can reduce sexual desire. “Biological alterations, such as thyroid dysfunction, a drop in male and female hormones, or treatments for chronic diseases that cause a drop in physical energy, also alter the adequate sexual response”, he explains.
Ups and downs of sexual appetite over the years
At adolescence, for example, the functioning of the brain has its peculiarities. “The release of dopamine has more prominent peaks in situations of pleasure, and sexual activity is new to the brain in this age group”, explains Ambrosio.
The brain also has greater emotional intensity from the increasing development of the hormonal axis of this phase, making the teenager more intense in emotional and sexual reactions, and also more explosive.
Now to 30 and 40 years old, if there is knowledge of sexual functioning, the libido can become more potent. “If they have situations that reduce self-esteem, abusive relationships, or weak bonds, the libido may drop”, he explains.
already in pregnancy, the libido is more influenced by emotional issues and taboos. According to Ambrosio, the fear of hurting the baby in the last trimester, of miscarriage in the beginning of the pregnancy and not finding a suitable position to adequately stimulate the clitoris, may be causes of a drop in sexual desire. “Generally, the second trimester is the phase in which the libido is high for most pregnant women”, he explains.
Soon after, when more mature and also with the proximity of the menopause, there are still women who feel they don’t need to have sex anymore because they “are old” or because they can’t get pregnant. However, it is important to remember that sex is not only for having children, but also for obtaining pleasure and intimacy with the partnership or with yourself.
In addition to the taboos on this phase of women, there are intense bodily changes during menopause, such as a drop in metabolism, and this can affect self-esteem.
However, one of the most relevant points for engaging in sexual activity, according to the gynecologist and sex therapist, is working on self-esteem, which is important to stimulate the response in relation to sex, as the expression of sexuality occurs naturally when we are well with our body and our life purpose.
Source: Aline Ambrosio, gynecologist, obstetrician and sex therapist, graduated from UNIFESP (Federal University of São Paulo) and a specialist in Human Sexuality from USP (University of São Paulo).