Sexual intimacy can help your partner feel wanted and appreciated, strengthening the bond as husband and wife.

When you lose interest for sexual intimacy in a healthy relationship.

OUR body goes through some changes as we grow, and as we age, we realise that our mentality and attitude toward things may change as well. Our energy level depletes, our appetite might have grown, and most of all; our desire for sexual intimacy may be distinguished. What leads to the loss of romance and intimacy in the bedroom?

Returning with her medical expertise, Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar of PrimaNora Medical Centre says the loss of libido (sexual desire) in senior citizens – those above 60 years old – comes from several physical and psychological as well as environmental factors. The loss should not be mourned by the elderly as it can be restored through treatment and habitual changes.

It can return

“When we talk about loss of libido, we have to look at the sexual response,” says Dr Nora. “If we talk about women even before menopause, studies show that one in five women in Malaysia has some form of female sexual dysfunction in their life,” she continues.

According to her, the strong reason they loss of their libido can come from the lack of desire, lack of arousal, painful sex, or anxiety.

The common denominator would be hormones, and with age comes chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis – when this happens, sexual performance would be difficult. If they have ovarian cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Certain drugs like anti-depressant will lower the libido of men and women.

Then stress, financial stress is one of the issues, whether stress in the workplace, the environment or at home. These factors can cause the interference of wanting to engage in sexual activities. In addition, there is a stigma when the senior citizens are holding hands, they don’t want to be seen as ‘horny old people.’ Therefore, they avoid and suppress their sexual needs. It’s commonly accepted that old people wouldn’t have the wants for sex.

Hormonal Changes

We cannot reverse ageing, but it can be halted. The hormonal upheaval coupled with physical changes leads to the loss of libido. According to Dr Nora, “Ageing is one of the main factors when it comes to the loss of libido. This has a lot to do with the production of our hormones. The problem is prevalent among ladies – especially those who had a hysterectomy.” As we grow older, our body produces less testosterone leading to the lack of desire.

Testosterone is a hormone that is more present in men. It controls a lot in men, from the reproductive system to sexuality to how much body hair they have. However, it also exist, albeit in a smaller amount, in women.

“It could be worse for women who are on oral contraceptives. It prevents the production of testosterone, which makes it difficult for the ladies to have the desire for intimacy,” says Dr Nora.

As women go through menopause, the body will reduce its oestrogen level causing dryness and irritation in their vaginal region which then leads to inflammation and painful experience.

“It’s no fun when it hurts, that’s why women with hormonal imbalance exhibit less interest in engaging in sexual intercourse as they grow older,” Dr Nora explains.

Progesterone is also known as the hormone of calmness. It goes well beyond the reproduction aspect of the body. It helps regulate skin, mood, sleep and thyroid functions which can cause women to feel insecure – which will also contribute to the loss of libido.

“Thyroid is known as the conductor of hormones. Just like in an orchestra, a disrupted thyroid causes chaos in hormone production which can cause fatigue, dryness and weight gain. This leads to some psychological factors to interrupt the desire for intimacy,” she says.

Sexual intimacies:
good for the body and soul

Research shows that people who practice regular intercourse have a longer life span and in addition, are at lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and an improved immune system.

“When you ‘do it’, you burn calories in some ways and at the same time, it helps regulate your blood flow,” she claims.

“Besides that, it makes your partner feels wanted and appreciated – help to strengthen the bond that you have with them.

“It’s not uncommon for the people at the age of 60 and above to experience the loss of their libido and they should not be embarrassed. There are treatments to it and the issue should not be swept under the rug.

The key to prevent the loss of libido is to understand the cause and overcome it.

“If the cause is stress related, go back to what causes the stress. There are some relaxation techniques, exercise and treatments available to help reignite the spark of romance that you once had.”

Exercise according to what you’re capable of can resolve the issue of weight gain and to help you keep your vitality.

“Not just that, supplements are available to help with the hormonal imbalance and nutrient deficiencies, and you can opt for good quality food that emphasises on energy production and cellular repairs,” says Dr Nora.

“Amino acids supplements can help to optimise hormones like thyroxine and melatonin. Other natural supplements like omega-3 fish oil can reduce inflammation, prevent arthritis, erectile dysfunction and poor orgasm.

However, because of the lowered immune system that comes with age, older people are more at risk to contract Sexually-Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The condom is not just to prevent pregnancy, as research has shown; there are several STDs that can be prevented by having a cap on during sex.

“STDs are more prevalent in the senior citizen in the European countries where they do not practice conservative sex as we do. One of major reason is that they do not get screened as often as the younger generations do,” she says.— The Health

Sexual intimacy can help your partner feel wanted and appreciated, strengthening the bond as husband and wife.