It isn’t easy to be a woman, even today when the law of the land has been adjusted to favour them in some form or another. They suffer in childbirth and carry a big burden of being mothers which they uphold throughout their lives. Their children are part of their bodies and, as such, women feel a special bond which men do not physically experience.
Millions of women go through the motion of experiencing a reduced sex drive upon reaching 50, say researchers. And many are too embarrassed to talk to their GPs or even their partners about such issues. But, say experts, many intimate health problems can be easily addressed and treated by a visit to the doctor.
Around three-quarters of women said their libido has decreased since they reached 50, according to the research. As many as half of those aged 54 and over said they are too embarrassed to talk to medical experts about such intimate issues, and just 2 per cent had sought treatment for a less active sex drive. 27 per cent felt ashamed discussing personal health problems with their partner – including those associated with the menopause. A reduced health drive is the health issue women feel the most uncomfortable in discussing with GPs and pharmacists, followed by the dryness and discomfort during sex.
A study of 1023 women and 977 men aged 54 plus, in a relationship, was commissioned by intimate skin care firm, Replens MD. The research shows that many women have anxieties when it comes to discussing intimate health issues with professionals or their partners, said Dr Rosemary Leonard of Replens:
Although they may perceive the problems as embarrassing, the discomfort many women are experiencing may be preventing them from enjoying their sex life as they get older. Yet these conditions often can be easily treated with a visit to the GP or pharmacist.
For example, almost half of females polled suffer from dryness – with around two thirds saying that it impacts on their ability to have sex. Despite this, 42 per cent put up with the condition because they think it is just part of growing older and are not aware they could get treatment for it.
Hopefully the results of our poll will help to encourage people to seek expert help so they don’t have to suffer in silence and can get back to enjoying life at the fullest.
Half of respondents said their drop in sexual desire was down to getting older, while over a third put it down to the menopause. A quarter said their reduced interest in sex was due to a lack of energy, while just under a quarter said it was a result of dryness.
The fall in sex drive also coincides with age; people start to feel uncomfortable with their partners seeing them undress. The typical British woman starts to feel anxious undressing in front of their partners on reaching 50. More than 40 per cent said they feel self-conscious when their partners see them naked, but 9 in 10 men said they aren’t put off by what a partner looks like undressed. 8 in 10 men say they never suffer any anxieties about their partner seeing them nude. Half of women said they had become less confident with their body as they had grown older.
Dr Leonard said: ‘Any changes to our bodies as we age can leave us feeling self-conscious so it is no real surprise that many women experience a drop in confidence around the menopause. Often women are experiencing changes and symptoms but are not quite sure what they are. Instead of seeking treatment for common conditions, like dryness for example, the research shows that women are putting conditions like that down to a natural part of ageing or they are suffering in silence, which is often having a knock–on effect with their relationships.’
As I said at the outset, women are more prone to suffering than men. Their bodies undergo many changes as they grow older and the drop in their libido, unless properly treated, robs them of the sexual satisfaction that make their lives more tolerable in general. Although men are more blatant when it comes to sexual matters, women feel the constraint at being much too uncomfortable in discussing the intimate matters of their health. Hence, they feel naturally disadvantaged.
That’s the difference, which is perhaps more in approach rather than in physicality.