Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 4th 2015 Contents B34
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, December 4, 2015
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
"I always thought
my husband and I
would be making
love until we were
90. But I just
turned 39 and my
libido is nowhere
to be found."
"I used to enjoy making love with my husband
but now it s something I do just to get him off my
case. I can t figure out where my sex drive went
"Once my partner and I "get started," I really enjoy
our sex life. The problem is I just don t ever want
to get started."
"I always thought my husband and I would be
making love until we were 90. But I just turned 39
and my libido is nowhere to be found."
If these sexual issues sound familiar, you re clearly
not alone. Experts say that a lack of interest in making
love---even with partners we adore in many other
ways---is not as unusual as we might think.
"A disappearing sex drive is a common problem---
sometimes in women as young as her 30s---and while
it hasn t reached epidemic proportions yet, I think
we re only seeing a small portion of the women who
are affected," says Rebecca Amaru, MD, a gynecologist
at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Indeed, in one global study of sexual problems
published in the Journal of Impotence Research, up
to 43 per cent of women expressed a loss of sexual
desire, beginning as young as age 40. Similarly, up
to 36 per cent of women who were having sex report-
ed they weren t enjoying it.
For some women, low sex drive or even the inability
to have sex is linked to specific problems. According
to renowned sex therapist NYU professor Virginia
Sadock, MD, this can include illness, medications,
or sometimes even a specific physical problem related
"It can also be the result of hormonal changes
that begin in the 40s. A lack of lubrication, for exam-
ple, makes sex less comfortable and over time that
can dampen desire," says Christiane Northrup, MD,
author of The Wisdom of Menopause (Hay House).
When low sex drive is health-related, experts say,
the solution is easy.
"For some women all it takes is a little dab of
either lubricant or estrogen cream on the clitoral
area. You can t believe how many women suffer, not
realising how easy this problem is to solve," says
But while for some women the answer might be
as close as that tube on the nightstand, Sadock says,
for many others the lack of libido is intimately linked
to the complex emotional algorithm that makes up
a woman s sex drive.
"If a woman is upset, confused, tired, if she is
feeling overworked and under-appreciated, even if
she is not consciously aware of some problems within
her relationship, I can promise you that a tube of
lubricant is not going to be enough to make her feel
like having sex," says Sadock.
Case in point, the Journal of Impotence Research
study found that relationship problems were fre-
quently at the heart of many women s low sex drive.
Moreover, Sadock says other studies found that
even when a woman s body is turned on, she won t
recognise it if she s not emotionally open to making
"In one study conducted in the Netherlands doctors
found that even when measurements of vaginal lubri-
cation confirmed sexual excitement, a woman didn t
perceive desire if she was not in touch with the idea
of being turned on," says Sadock.
This, she says, can also occur when self-esteem
"When you don t feel good about yourself, if you
view yourself as undesirable, then you ll push desire
out of your mind as well," says Sadock.
So how do you coax your sex drive out of hid-
For women who need a little encouragement that
intimacy is still within their grasp, Sadock recom-
mends giving fantasy a try.
"Put your partner out of your mind and focus
strictly on sex," says Sadock. Imagine, if you will,
having the most wonderful, delicious, glorious romp
with anyone you desire---a movie star, an old flame,
a mysterious stranger---and then see how you feel.
"Even if you don t get overwhelmingly excited, if
you can at least feel a sense of openness about sexual
excitement, then there is little doubt that your desire
is still intact," says Sadock. (www.webmd.com)
When desire dies: Bringing
your sex life back to life
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