Sexuality in Middle Adulthood
Although intimacy and the desire to be sexually expressive are not essentially altered with increasing age, aging has an impact on anyone’s sex life. There are physical and mental changes brought about adulthood that has a striking effect to both women and men.
As women enter middle adulthood, they may notice that their vaginas as not as lubricated as before. Vaginal walls have become thinner and somewhat stiffer; and their vaginal canals can be shortened and narrowed over time. All these vaginal changes are brought about by menopause- the most common reason for sexual modifications in women as they approach middle adulthood. These changes can make sex uncomfortable and less enjoyable for middle-aged women. There are psychological changes that menopause also brings to women. Some experiences a decline in expressing their sexual needs, while others have reported to have been more assertive, primarily because of the loss of worry over pregnancy and rearing kids.
Men are not excused in the sexuality modifications, too. Erectile dysfunction becomes more apparent as men age. Middle-aged men find that erections may take for a while, and it may be not as firm or as long as compared before. Low libido is also evident because of the decrease in their testosterone levels, about 0.5% per year from the age of 40 onwards.
Decline in physical health may also bring major or minor changes both in aging men and women. Conditions such as arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes, chronic pain, stroke and incontinence are the common illnesses that occur in middle age. Suffering from such diseases may find sex a less pleasurable activity due to the complications posed by their conditions. Surgeries and medications may also have an effect, directly or indirectly, to the aging person’s ability to have and enjoy sexual activity.