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Let’s face it: Sex is considered a taboo topic, and God forbid women are caught discussing it in open. But sex is a natural phenomenon, something we humans indulge in not just for procreation but for pleasure as well. Women want, need and enjoy sex as much as men do. And just like men, they also undergo a few physiological changes with age, affecting their sex drives. If you are a woman who enjoys sex and wants to lead a healthy sex life, you need to understand the impact of aging on it first.

The biggest change in a woman’s body that comes with age is menopause. During menopause, a decrease in estrogen levels in the body can cause a lot of physical changes, along with a lot of mental and emotional stress.

Also Read: Happy sex life is ageless!

Some of the sexual changes women undergo are:

  • Decreased libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful penetration
  • Loss of elasticity of vaginal walls
  • A decrease in the size of the clitoral, vulva and labial tissues
  • A decrease in the size of the cervix, uterus, and ovaries
  • Inability to achieve orgasms

How do these changes affect your sex life?

  • As lubrication decreases, you may find difficulty in enjoying sex
  • Your orgasms may be less intense or none at all
  • Sexual desire may be reduced

Certain medical procedures can also have an impact on one’s sexual life. Women who have undergone hysterectomy find sex more convenient as they don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy. While women with mastectomy may have a radical shift in how they perceive their body and beauty and this can impact sex negatively.

Also Read: 7 Frequently Asked Questions about Sex Life and Aging

So what should you do?

Sometimes, the answer is as simple as using a lubricant during sex or taking a pain killer to combat discomfort. At other times, some women also need to undergo hormone therapy or sex therapy to better their sex lives. But the biggest impact on your sex life can come through lifestyle changes. The healthier you live, the better your chances of an enjoyable sex life way into your golden years.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Exercise: Exercise improves your blood function and heart health, in turn improving your sexual function
  • Quit smoking: Quitting smoking can improve blood flow to your sexual organs and it also delays menopause
  • Avoid excessive alcohol: Alcohol can dampen sexual reflexes, disrupt sleep and trigger hot flashes
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight is important to help you feel your best and create a positive body image for yourself
  • Eat a clean diet: Eating a clean and junk-food free diet can help you keep heart issues and diabetes at bay, which also impact one’s sexual health. Eating a healthy diet is important for one’s overall health.
  • Communicate: Another important aspect of a healthy sex life is having open communication with your partner. A good open talk about your likes, dislikes, comforts and discomforts can do wonders to your sex life.

Why bother about sexual changes and sex life?

Why not? A healthy sex life is everyone’s right, irrespective of their age or gender. Sex is an integral part of women’s health, and should not be a hush-hush topic anymore. Safe sex can boost metabolism and increase immunity. Frequent sexual intercourse can also better your heart health.

If you are an older adult who enjoys sex but is currently going through physiological changes, visit your doctor immediately. Our society and culture do not allow women to own their sexuality and express their concerns openly. But it is important to take steps to ensure we are physically and sexually happy.

Sex can be enjoyed at any age and you don’t have to give up on it just because you are growing old. In fact, you have lesser responsibilities with age: your children have grown up, perhaps you are retired and have more time with your partner. Make use of this time together to reconnect and enjoy a healthy sex life like never before.

Also Watch: Feisty at Fifty Author Sudha Menon on Ageism, Sex After 50 and More

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