Women can get a better sex life over the years. Good news for women who fear a worse sex life in menopause. A new study shows that it simply does not have to happen. A new study shows that, with age, sex life can offer more pleasure and happiness than before.
The study includes close to 40 women with an average age of 58 years. The goal was to investigate how the sexual function changes over time. This was a qualitative study, where interviews were conducted by the women. And the results show that some women are actually more satisfied with their sex life when they pass the middle of life – even though they do not have sex as often as before.
These women felt more confident and comfortable in their own body after they became older. Thus, they also felt more free. They reported better knowledge and understanding of their own body as they became older and felt they had more skills to communicate their sexual needs to their partner.
Holly N. Thomas is a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the researchers behind the study, published during the North American Menopause Society’s Annual Meeting in Orlando.
She says to Endocrine Today that changes in sexual function are common when women reach menopause. But not all changes are negative. And many women adapt to negative changes by changing sexual behavior or prioritizing the emotional aspects of sex in front of the physical.
Also read: Sexual dysfunction in menopause
The most common negative changes reported in the study were just less sex, but also lower libido, dryness of the vagina and difficulty in achieving orgasm. The changes were seen as psychosocial stress factors more often than biological factors. The negative sexual changes could also be related to the relationship with the partner – partner’s health problems or sexual dysfunction.
The most frequently reported positive change among women was increased sexual satisfaction despite a decline in sexual activity. Participants believe that the positive changes come from better self-esteem, increased self-awareness and better communication skills.
Also read: Sexuality when you get older
To meet the negative changes, the women in the survey made various adjustments. It could be the use of lubricant, prolong the pretension – which includes other types of sexual activity – testing of other sexual positions, more masturbation and encouraging the partner to treat erectile dysfunction problems. To appreciate more than previously the emotional aspects of sex were also seen as an adaptation.
The researchers behind the study emphasize that what has been typical research findings on this topic is that women’s sexual life gets worse the older they become. These are usually quantitative studies.