Her Desire

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It is the responsibility of health workers and those professionally in charge of older people to help them better understand that their desires are perfectly normal. Older people seem to enjoy sex more.

A study in men with an average age of 60 years and mild to severe erectile dysfunction found that older men are not quite so anxious about sexual performance as are younger men, which may reflect different levels of expectation between age groups. Older men reported more sexual satisfaction than younger men no matter how severe their erectile dysfunction.

Older men reported slightly less sexual desire than younger men but lower sexual desire was related to higher levels of erectile dysfunction. In this day and age, medications such as sildenafil Viagra R are available to assist in overcoming the physical limitations of the elderly population ie, erectile dysfunction , but others such as testosterone have been found to increase sexual desire in older men without improving any of the other parameters of sexual function.

A recent Danish study, in which 8, adults responded to a questionnaire, examined the prevalence of self-reported sexual desire and the decrease in sexual desire over a five-year period in both men and women across different age ranges. Results showed that men have a significantly higher level of sexual desire than women. Investigations into the sexual activity of an elderly population with an average age of 81 years, who were mostly 56 per cent of them women, found that only 18 per cent of women, compared with 41 per cent of the men, were sexually active.

The most common sexual activity was intercourse for men and masturbation for women. Among the women, "no desire" was the most common reason for sexual inactivity. Sexual function scores for women were low across all categories which included lubrication, desire, orgasm, arousal, pain, and satisfaction. For men, the main reason for sexual inactivity was erectile dysfunction, and sexual function scores were also low for the categories of orgasm, and overall satisfaction but not for desire.

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For older men at least, it seems that the spirit is willing, even if the flesh is weak. For the majority of older women, the desire for sex appears mostly to be lost. The Menopause Epidemiology Study, a cross-sectional, population-based study of 1, sexually active postmenopausal women aged 40 to 65 in the United States, attempted to define female sexual dysfunction. It found that sexual dysfunction, in terms of desire, arousal and orgasm difficulties, was due mainly to vulvovaginal atrophy defined as vaginal dryness, itching and irritation, pain on urination, or pain or bleeding on intercourse.

Estimates of the prevalence of low sexual desire and hypoactive sexual desire disorder HSDD in the US were calculated in premenopausal women and naturally and surgically menopausal women. Low sexual desire is more common among surgically and naturally menopausal women compared to premenopausal women. However, the women who were surgically menopausal were distressed about their low desire. Low levels of sex hormones, particularly oestradiol, physical and mental well-being and, importantly, feelings for partner are all relevant to a woman's sexuality in natural menopause.

In a questionnaire study in Brazilian-born women, the sexuality of women in midlife was found to be adversely affected by such factors as living with a sexual partner and being in the menopausal transition or being postmenopausal. Living with a sexual partner might be viewed as an unusual reason for an adverse effect on sexual desire, but maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships can be a problem.

A "goal-oriented" strategy is one psychological approach to such a problem. Studies tested whether adopting strong "approach goals" ie, goals focused on the pursuit of positive experiences in a relationship such as fun, growth, and development result in greater sexual desire in relationships. They found that individuals with strong approach goals experience even greater desire on days where partners are getting along, and less of a decrease in desire on days when things aren't going too well between partners. This kind of goal-oriented "working-at-the-relationship" approach works better with women than with men, but men surely must benefit from their partner's increased sexual desire.

How a woman sees herself, in terms of positive imagery of the female body, affects a woman's sexual desire and what she does with it.

The Right to Desire - Open The Magazine

Signs and symptoms of depression are significantly associated with loss of libido in older women and the odds of losing libido increases as the number of depressive symptoms increases. Women who do not have concerns over their level of sexual desire say that they feel loved and safe with their partner, that he tells her she's sexy, and that he is romantic. It makes no difference in this case whether or not the woman is in menopause, but interestingly, postmenopausal women prefer more love and emotional bonding cues from their partner, with these resulting in feelings of sexual desire in the woman, compared with premenopausal women.

Overall, knowledge about human sexual desire is somewhat limited, mainly because it is such a complex issue revolving around hormones, feelings and health. Generally speaking, desire decreases with age, but this may simply be because older people are more likely to suffer illness and loss of loved ones, as well as lower hormone levels.

Whether loss of desire causes distress ultimately depends on the individual, although it may have repercussions in partner relationships for example, because more men experience sexual desire than women, which can continue right into old age. Exogenous testosterone treatment has been suggested as a rational therapeutic alternative for women whose low libido negatively affects their quality of life. Despite a recent anonymous publication suggesting that the disorder HSDD has been cynically created by drug companies to coincide with the market release of testosterone patches, HSDD is a recognised disorder and testosterone therapy is known to improve HSDD.

Testosterone patches are licensed in the UK for women with surgically induced menopause who are taking concomitant oestrogen therapy.

Testosterone patches are not recommended for naturally menopausal women or for those taking conjugated oestrogens. Safety and efficacy of testosterone patches have not been established beyond one year of treatment. In the meantime, hormone replacement therapy HRT has been shown to provide significant improvement in sexual function compared to women receiving no treatment although harmful effects have been found in some clinical trials: certain health authorities now consider that risk-benefit considerations do not favour the use of HRT.

However, most experts agree that if HRT is used on a short-term basis taken for no more than five years then the benefits of HRT outweigh any associated risk. As with all aspects of partner relationships, the most important aspects in dealing with problems are communication and a will to make the relationship succeed. It is also important that people should practise healthy lifestyles — not drink too much or smoke, and take more exercise for overall health and fitness.

Women should strengthen pelvic floor muscles preferably with those little Japanese balls that you get from Ann Summers. Couples should seek counselling if necessary — and, for men, psychosexual therapy significantly can deal with erectile dysfunction, caused by mental problems, more than sildenafil on its own.

The Independent's Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships.


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