If you talk to baby boomer gals, it seems the answer is yes. Indeed, as
millions of women enter perimenopause and then
transgress to menopause and beyond, many say
they check their sex drive at the door – and most are not happy about it.
By Marisa Cohen
Have you ever hidden something from him about your past (or
present)? Or has he ever stunned you with a secret of his own? Here, couples
reveal their biggest bombshells. Plus, learn which secrets you must spill — and
which ones to keep to yourself.
In a perfect relationship, you wouldn't keep any secrets from
your sweetie. And you'd never have to worry if he were keeping anything from
you, because his life, too, would be an open book.
But we live in the real...
"I don't think a day goes by when at least one patient – and usually more –
complain that their sex drive is dropping off and want to know what they can do
about it," says Laura Corio, MD, a gynecologist and clinical instructor at Mt.
Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Clinically known as HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder) Corio says she
doesn't think more women are affected now than in the past, but she does
believe more are coming forward -- prompted, at least in part, by the success
male potency drugs like Viagra.
"The man gets a prescription for Viagra and he's ready to rock and roll
while she's thinking 'Hey, where's my pill?' If she's not ready to jump in the
old van and join him for a ride, there can be real problems," says Corio.
Discovering What's Wrong
While male sex drive is easy to define -- and relatively easy to restore --
that's often not the case for women. Because the female sex drive is
multifactorial, the desire to make love is not only influenced by physical
issues, but emotional ones as well.
"Part of the desire to make love is clearly physical, but part is also
emotional – depression can make a difference,
so can any emotional issue in a woman's life; female sex drive is very
multidimensional," says Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, an endocrinologist and chair
of the department of medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los
While emotions are frequently behind a loss of sex drive in younger women, doctors say it is frequently
theagingprocess itself that's causes changes in
desire in women over age 45.
"The very fact that a woman is no longer ovulating regularly, or not
ovulating at all, automatically takes her sex drive down a few notches," says
Steven Goldstein, MD, professor of ob-gyn and NYU Medical Center in New York
Nature's Design for Sex
Indeed, as many women are aware, Mother Nature built in a natural increase
in the desire for sex beginning just prior to ovulation, and lasting several days afterwards -- not
coincidentally, the only time of the month conception is possible.
Stop ovulating, says Goldstein, and you automatically lose that regularly
scheduled boost in your sex drive that has been present since puberty -- and
you're probably going to notice.
"There's nothing wrong with you; it's just the way nature works," says
Moreover, around menopause, when there is
also less estrogen circulating in your body, that too can bring your sex drive
down for the count.