Middle Age Loss of Libido? ---
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July 5, 2016
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and
other members of our Editorial Board.]





A healthy, active sex life is important for adults of all ages
but why do so many middle aged Americans feel so little
desire?

Nearly half of all women will suffer from lost libido at some
point in their lives – and it’s more likely to happen in middle
age. With lost libido come lost confidence, lower energy,
guilt, and relationship problems.

It’s not surprising that so many products are marketed
towards solving the problem of low libido.

Most of them don’t work, but you may be surprised to learn
that food, herbs, and spices can actually make a big
difference to your levels of desire.

Between 25 percent and 63 percent of women report
problems with desire and sexual dysfunction, and the rate
rises to 86.5 percent of women post-menopause, according
to a 2006 study from the University of Arizona.

In an era where everywhere you look on TV, in movies and
on the internet people are enjoying wild sex lives, there is
increasing evidence that nothing could actually be further
from the truth. Why does your libido tend to drop in mid-
life? If your libido is lowering in middle age, what can you
do? What foods help you towards a more satisfying sex life?

Why Does Libido Fall in Middle Age?

Lack of sex drive or libido can be a problem at any age, but
during middle age several life changes occur which make the
problem more likely. Childbirth, and then menopause, affect
hormonal balance and levels of energy.

After menopause sex can often become uncomfortable as
lubrication decreases - a drop in estrogen is also to blame
for many falling libidos.

Low testosterone can result in a low libido in middle age –
both for men and for women, as the hormone is not
exclusively male.

Women with low testosterone suffer from low libido as do
men. Testosterone levels decline naturally with age and in
women the level falls an average of 50 percent between the
ages of 20 and 45.

For many men and women, testosterone production is being
bashed by high levels of day-to-day stress in an increasingly
tough economic climate. Women frequently cite stress,
looking after kids or elderly parents, overwork and continual
multi-tasking as reasons for their lack of desire at the end of
the day.

In addition, diet and overall health affects libido and
deficiencies in certain nutrients can contribute to a lack of
desire, as well as cause health problems where low libido is a
side effect.

Lack of Desire During Menopause

It’s difficult to tell whether lack of desire is caused by
physical changes in menopause or those physical changes
lower libido, according to experts. For example, in a 2007
study from the University of Washington women with
reduced sexual desire in menopause are more likely to suffer
from
disturbed sleep and depression.

But does poor sleep reduce energy for sex, or lower sex
drive cause physical problems that prevent sleep? And does
depression – particularly treatment with antidepressants –
reduce libido, or is depression a “side effect” of reduced
desire?

For men it is often easier to pin loss of libido on a physical
problem. Women traditionally have a more emotional and
psychological interplay when it comes to sexual drive.

How Many People Suffer From Loss of Libido in Middle Age?































And therefore it seems women more than men have a
problem with middle aged lack of desire.

An analysis of data from the National Health and Social Life
Survey carried out in 2006 by the University of Arizona
discovered that sexual dysfunction, including loss of libido,
was more common in women (43 percent) than men (31
percent).

In the study, satisfaction with sexual activity was linked with
a lower body mass index (BMI), and higher mental health
score.

Dissatisfaction with sexual activity was linked to having a
college degree or greater, low mental health score, and poor
general health.

Libido markedly declines as a person ages.
A 2005 study from The University of Melbourne
demonstrated that from early to late menopause the
percentage of women with low scores on a sexual
satisfaction scale increased from 42 percent to 88 percent,
and by post-menopause there were "significant declines in
sexual responsivity, frequency of sexual activities, libido, and
the total score of sexual function.”

Sexually Active, but No Desire?


It seems that many older women are sexually active – even
up until old age – but they report low levels of desire,
according to a 2012 study from the University of California,
San Diego School of Medicine. Participants in the study
reported frequent arousal and orgasm into old age, but low
libido – 40 percent of the women in the study said they
never or almost never felt sexual desire. It suggests that
women engage in sexual activity for many more reasons
than pure desire, including keeping a relationship alive, or to
feel closer to a partner.  

If loss of libido is causing emotional or psychological
problems, is there anything you can do to get it back in
middle age? We looked at recent scientific studies to see
what you can eat to increase your desire.

1.
Eat Watermelon and Enjoy a Higher Sex Drive

Apparently watermelon has ingredients that deliver Viagra-
like benefits to the blood vessels, and eating this juicy fruit
can even increase your libido, according to a 2008 study
from Texas A&M University. Watermelon contains lycopene,
beta carotene and citrulline which can relax blood vessels
much like Viagra does.

2.
How Amino Acids and Herbs Help Improve Libido

A combination therapy containing the amino acid arginine
plus libido-boosting herbs like ginseng, gingko and damiana
improved sexual satisfaction in a group of 77 women,
according to a 2001 study by the University of Hawaii. The
study looked at 77 women aged between 22 and 71 years
for four weeks. Enhanced libido was one of the specific
benefits reported in the trial.

3.
Can Vitamin C Increase Libido?

Increasing your intake of foods containing vitamin C like
citrus fruits, bell peppers, leafy greens, and broccoli could
help you enjoy increased libido in middle age.

A 2002 study from the University of Trier, Germany found
that use of vitamin C led to an increase in the frequency of
intercourse in healthy women – scientists believe this is
because it increases libido.

There’s no harm in boosting your vitamin C intake, especially
if it leads to greater sexual desire.

4.
GLA Helps Improve Middle Aged Libido

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty substance found in
vegetable oils like evening primrose oil and borage oil, could
be useful for raising libido.

In 2003, scientists from the Clinical Development Services,
Grand Marais in Minnesota, showed that use of a supplement
containing GLA and supplementary herbs improved sexual
function in women with female sexual arousal disorder.

5.
Does Ginkgo Biloba Actually Make a Difference to Middle
Age Libido?

Many middle aged women have read reports of gingko biloba’
s libido-raising powers with hope.

But while many rely on this herb, there are studies such as a
1998 study from the University of California that
demonstrate the herb is no more effective than placebo.

The placebo effect can be great, which may account for the
satisfaction expressed by many women.

6.
The Herb "Maca" Raises Libido

One herb that has been shown to make a difference is maca.

Lepidium meyenii, the technical name for maca,  is sometimes
described as the "herbal Viagra".  

In a 2002 study from the University of Modena and Reggio
nell'Emilia in Italy on rats, maca use enhanced sexual
function. Across, on the other side of the world, scientists in
a 2002 study by the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
in Peru, found that the use of maca at 1,500mg or 3,000mg
increased male libido.

7.
Eat Oysters to Increase Sexual Desire in Middle Age

It’s a common stereotype for a romantic meal, but it seems
oysters really can raise libido.  The effect on libido is mainly
due to their high zinc content.

Oysters have the highest concentration of zinc out of all
foods and zinc is necessary for testosterone production in
both men and women.

A 1982 study from the American College of Physicians
showed that zinc increased sexual function of men on kidney
dialysis.

There are other compounds in oysters that also rev up the
libido.  Oysters also contain the amino acids D-aspartic acid
and N-methyl-D-aspartate, which experts believe increase
sex hormones.

































































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Oysters contain several
compounds that increase
libido in men and women.