Our lives are in a constant state of change. So are our bodies, and as a result our sexual satisfaction and enjoyment may vary as well. There are some times when sex is better and times when it is not. Here is some important information all women should know, since all women may experience highs and lows in their sexual enjoyment. Rest assured these changes are totally natural.
Your Body in Your 20’s and 30’s
During our 20’s and 30’s, the height of our reproductive potency, our bodies produce hormones that help us become aroused and to respond during sexual activity. Estrogens help keep the vaginal tissues healthy, and androgens drive desire and arousal.
Your Body After Childbirth
During the immediate weeks after childbirth, the ovaries are quiet and both estrogens and androgens are low. Many women experience less interest in sex and slower, less intense feelings of excitement, as well as a decrease in vaginal lubrication. Many women are just not interested at all. This can cause frustration especially if you don’t expect it. On average, sex hormones rev up again within three months, but the timing depends on a lot of factors like breast feeding, fatigue, caesarean delivery, other children at home, and social support.
Your Body and Oral Contraceptives
Isn’t it ironic that the hormones women take to prevent pregnancy can decrease the desire to have sex. While this is a transient phase in some women, for others this blunting of sexual feelings continues to be a problem. These women may need to change to a different oral contraceptive or to an entirely different method of birth control.
Your Body and Menopause
In the years leading up to menopause, hormone levels become unpredictable. Some months estrogen is higher, some months lower, and some months just right. As a woman approaches that final menstrual period, other hormones change too. Progesterone secretion drops off and then stops. Androgens also begin to decline. All these shifts during the menopausal transition can wreak havoc on many aspects of a women’s life: sleep, mood, and sex.
After menopause, the loss of estrogen and androgen can lead to a real drop off in sexual responsiveness. This estrogen loss leads to a decrease in vaginal lubrication and vaginal elasticity, and the decline in androgens may affect interest and enjoyment. These changes, while entirely natural, can be very frustrating. Understanding the process may help us to be better prepared to deal with these changes.
With all the natural ebbs and flows, it helps to take ownership of your sensuality. It’s important to discover what works for you – how you can keep that spark, hold onto that vitality and continue to experience sexual pleasure. Because sexual satisfaction is something that all women deserve, at any age and at every stage in life.