Frequent, pleasurable, and intimate sex is part of everyone’s right to physical and psychological wellbeing — especially after 50. As such, if you notice a new lack of desire when it comes to sex, you owe it to yourself to get to the bottom of why — and to take steps towards boosting your libido.
In this guide from ASYSTEM, we’ll go over what can cause sex drive to decrease after 50 and the eight natural steps you can take to increase it.
Read on for our evidence-based ways to optimize your sex life.
Why Does Sex Drive Decrease After 50?
Getting older in and of itself does not necessarily lead to low libido. However, certain factors — which are correlated with an increase in age — can cause your sex drive to begin to wane.
Here are some of the culprits that may be at play:
Hormonal changes can be observed in both men and women in their 50s.
In women — especially those who experience menopause — there is a significant dip in testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone levels. These work with the brain to regulate sexual desire, sexual arousal, and orgasm.
Menopause can also come with other uncomfortable side effects, like night sweats, hot flashes, and mood changes. Estrogen is also linked to vaginal lubrication. Women report having more vaginal dryness (also known as vaginal atrophy) and painful sexual intercourse with a decrease in this all-natural lubricant. This can (understandably) reduce their sexual desire.
As such, it makes sense that a decrease in estrogen is associated with discomfort, painful sex, and a subsequent decrease in libido. But women are not alone in experiencing hormonal changes.
In men, levels of testosterone begin to decline with age. Low levels of this hormone are associated with low energy, decreased muscle mass and strength, and even erectile dysfunction. In combination, these factors can lead to a low sex drive.
The older you get, the higher the chances that you will experience a chronic health condition. Usually, this is accompanied by a prescription for a medication.
While this is certainly not the case with many medications, some have been shown to exhibit symptoms that squash the desire for sexual intimacy. This includes some antidepressants, birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, and drugs used to treat high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Many age-related factors can cause our bodies to change, not necessarily for the better. Increased responsibilities during middle age, such as child-rearing and work demands, usually equate to less time dedicated to self-care.
Although this affects men, as well, postmenopausal women or women in middle age are much more likely to experience the negative effects of limited self-care. As a result, their body image may change and begin to take a toll on their sex drive.
10 Ways To Improve Sex Drive After 50
Fortunately, age in and of itself does not cause a reduced sex drive. Instead, the factors associated with getting older can reduce libido. This means that making certain lifestyle changes can get you on track to regaining your sexual desire.
Read on for ten ways to improve your sex drive in your 40s, 50s, and beyond.
1. Reduce Stress
Intuitively, it makes sense why psychological stress would lower your libido. After all, if you’re on edge about work, finances, relationship troubles, and anything else that might occupy your mind, it may feel downright impossible to feel any kind of sexual desire.
Biologically, there’s a deeper explanation that can explain why this happens. It goes like this: When you’re stressed out, your body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. This is done to put your body in a state of hyperarousal — which should prepare you to fight or flight.
When this happens, non-essential functions such as reproduction shut down. The key to this is reduced circulation to the genitals, which makes it difficult not only to desire sex but also to perform during it. Aside from that, being in an agitated state can make it difficult to stay present and keep your mind on the physical act of sex.
For this reason, reducing stress — which affects a whopping one-third of the population — should be your first line of approach to boosting your libido. If getting rid of the stressors in your life is impossible, stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, breathwork, and supplementation make for great alternatives.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
The reason your diet is so important for libido rests on a combination of psychological and biological factors.
Psychologically, if we don’t feel great because of our diet — due to bloating, high blood sugar, or a general feeling of being “unwell” — we’re much less likely to desire sex.
Biologically, an unhealthy diet can create an unhealthy body, which is marked by increased inflammation and reduced circulation. This can lead to a decrease in your sexual health and function.
So, what’s the best way to combat diet-related low libido? Well, research shows an association between a Mediterranean diet and improved sex drive. Most likely, it is a combination of healthy fats (such as omega-3s) and fresh produce that is responsible for the results.
However, finding what works for you is largely an individual process and entails much trial and error before settling on the right diet.
3. Lower Your Weight
Being overweight in and of itself won’t necessarily lead to low libido. However, certain physical conditions go along with being overweight, such as high cholesterol. These conditions can dampen your sex drive.
For instance, high cholesterol — which causes plaque to build up in your arteries — can slow down blood flow throughout the body. Of course, this includes the genitals, which can make it harder to get aroused and have an orgasm.
There are various other conditions associated with being overweight, which can affect your sex drive. As such, it’s no surprise that research shows an association between weight loss and an increase in libido.
If you are overweight, weight loss may be the right solution for increasing your sex drive.
4. Get High-Quality Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors in psychological well-being. Not surprisingly, one study found a direct correlation between sleep duration and libido.
In addition, researchers think that sleep may be responsible for hormone production. For instance, one study suggests that sleep deprivation decreases testosterone levels in men, which can reduce sex drive.
If you often experience sleep deprivation, then increasing the duration and quality of your sleep may be what you need to raise your libido.
5. Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoke is toxic. Amongst various other chemicals, it releases carbon monoxide in the body, which can interfere with hormone production. For instance, one study found a correlation between smoking and decreased levels of estrogen in women.
Aside from being linked to a hormonal balance, smoking interferes with circulation. This can interfere with your sexual function, which — not surprisingly — can lower your libido. As such, it’s important to consider the role that smoking plays in your sexual health and to take steps towards quitting.
6. Get Regular Exercise
We know the adage: If the benefits of exercise came in pill form, it would be the most sought-after drug in the world.
Exercise improves hundreds of your body’s functions and processes, including key hormones and neurotransmitters. It can also boost circulation throughout your body (which includes the genitals) and increase stamina and endurance for better sexual performance.
Not surprisingly, starting an exercise routine has been shown to increase sex drive directly.
7. Try Herbal Supplements
There is a link between all of the above recommendations: they involve changes to your lifestyle factors.
However, sometimes, making these modifications may not be enough. In this case, you might turn to an outside source for help, like herbs.
Some herbal supplements have been clinically proven to improve libido by supporting healthy circulation, reducing stress, and supporting sex hormone levels.
ASYSTEM’s Female Libido Gummies contain a blend of natural ingredients, such as fenugreek extract, French maritime pine bark extract, boron citrate, and others that show clinically significant improvements in sex drive.
As for the best part? Many herbal supplements are associated with very few — if any — side effects. This makes them safe and effective for boosting your libido.
8. Improve Your Relationship
If you are in a relationship, it’s just as important to consider the other person as yourself. If you have any problems with your intimacy, they can rear their head in the bedroom — in the form of a reduced sex drive.
Instead of letting the tension build up, talk it out with your partner and try to collaborate towards finding ways to make sex more frequent, intimate, and pleasurable.
Another option to consider is couples sex therapy — a form of counseling in which you’ll work with a sex therapist to address the factors affecting sex in your relationship.
Sex is an important part of a healthy and happy life. As such, if you notice that your sex drive is beginning to decrease, you owe it to yourself to figure out why this is the case and how you can improve it.
With the right lifestyle changes (and a little help from ASYSTEM’s Libido Gummies), you’ll be way on your way to having your best sex life yet — in your 50s and beyond.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Former Olympic Athlete, Founder, B2ten Foundation (coach to multiple Olympic Champions)
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