When entering old age, women tend to be less interested in having sex. This has also been proven by research showing changes in health factors that trigger a decrease in the desire to engage in sexual activity.
However, there are studies that explain that the reason why elderly women are reluctant to have sex is not limited to health factors, but there are other essential things that underlie it. About anything, huh? We will discuss more in the following together.
A 2015 study entitled ” Menopause and Sexuality ” in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America concluded that sexual dysfunction increases with age, especially among postmenopausal women .
Previous research that was referenced noted that as many as 42 percent of women had less sex when they reached menopause. That number increased to 88 percent after eight more years of research. The massive increase was due to sexual dysfunction caused by physiological factors, such as vaginal dryness and changes in estrogen levels, which make sex more difficult or less enjoyable.
Although menopause is a common reason for elderly women to be reluctant to have sex, it is not the only aspect that affects the decrease in libido in elderly women.
2. The factor of not having a partner
Another factor influencing the decline in sex life in older women was demonstrated in a recent study published in the journal Menopause in 2022. The study surveyed 24,000 women aged 50–74 who participated in an ovarian cancer screening study in the UK.
Overall, 78 percent of respondents said they had a partner, but only 49 were sexually active. Meanwhile, 37 percent of elderly women stated that the main reason for not having sex was the loss of a partner due to death or divorce.
Still referring to the same study, elderly women also reported many other factors that influenced the frequency of sex in their lives. Reported by Medical News Today , some of these factors include:
A medical condition that affects a partner’s libido or sexual function.
Spouse has sexual dysfunction.
Health problems in elderly women themselves.
Physical symptoms associated with menopause.
Taking drugs that affect libido.
Daily busyness that makes no time to think about sex.
Many elderly women report problems in relationships, the need to arrange or plan sex, and the self-image affected by menopause causes low sexual arousal .
4. Emotional intimacy factor
Reported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), an additional factor that could be a reason why older women are reluctant to have sex is shown by a study published in the journal BMJ Open .
The study was based on the experiences of 4,800 men and 6,700 women aged 16–74 who reported that in general, women may be more interested in sex if they can talk about it with their partner.
This trend is confirmed by the analysis of Cynthia Graham as the lead author of the study. He explained that for women, communication, relationship quality, and length of relationship with a partner are very important to determine sexual attraction. This shows that there is a strong relationship between intimacy and sexual satisfaction for women.
Compared to the menopause factor itself, communication disorders and the absence of emotional closeness accounted for most of the causes of elderly women being less interested in having sex with their partners.
Sexual health challenges are common among women as they age. Partner factors play an important role in women’s sexual activity and satisfaction.
Unfortunately, sexual problems often go unnoticed, not communicated, and not handled properly. This is where sex therapy can be used for elderly women or with partners, to be able to help explore sexual problems experienced.
Older women with problems such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex that have been identified as affecting sexual function may consider getting treatment. Couples must jointly commit to having open communication about each other’s desires, needs, and conditions of sexual dysfunction. Openness can be the first step to restore an exciting sex life again.
Aging factors and health conditions are common causes for elderly women to be reluctant to have sex. However, research has shown that there are other dimensional factors that can affect the sexual arousal of older women in terms of their relationship with their partner.
By finding out the potential causes of the elderly not being interested in sex, this can lead to possible solutions that can help solve the problem.