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How does age affect sexual desire?

When it comes to sex and desire, many women discover that each decade gets better -- as long as they remain open enough to keep learning, changing and communicating with their partners.

That said, menopause reduces the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in your body (testosterone has been declining since your 20s), which can have an affect on your sexual desire. Those changes increase vaginal dryness and may lessen that "instant-on" sexual response you may have had in younger days. On the other side, menopause can remove concerns about getting pregnant, which in turn can enhance desire.
Jan L. Shifren, MD
Reproductive Endocrinology
Sexual desire tends to wane with age. It can flag in midlife for a variety of reasons -- some physical, some emotional. Hallmarks of aging such as declining hormones or lifestyle and relationship transitions can all affect a person's sex drive. So too can illness and the presence of other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness. Interestingly, although low libido increases with advancing age, low libido associated with distress is less common in women beyond midlife.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.