by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
As women, society can often make us feel like we’re on a timeline. Not only are we expected to bear children by a certain age, we are also expected to cease being sexy as we get older. But I’m happy to say that more and more women are throwing this timeline to the wind and charting their own paths! Many women are enjoying motherhood later in life in order to pursue their dreams. And those beyond menopause are reclaiming their sexual selves to take pleasure in vibrant, active sex lives. Though the focus of a woman’s sexual life will change over time, nature has given both men and women the ability to enjoy sexual pleasure for the duration of our lives!
And the truth is, sexuality and sensuality can change for a woman throughout her life. At some points feeling sexy comes easily, while other times being in touch with our sexual selves is the last thing on the to-do list. It may be a loss of libido, pain with intercourse, fear of pregnancy or STD’s, or stress regarding infertility. Anyway you look at it, women’s sexual needs and desires fluctuate naturally with time. And I’ve seen that an honest discussion about these matters can dramatically change a woman’s quality of life and help prevent unwanted health problems.
I have also seen many women overcome issues related to sexuality and fertility. Fertility, in the conventional sense, may not be an option for some women or it may not happen when they thought it would. But there are many avenues to explore within and outside your own body when it comes to fertility — and we’ve helped lots of women get to their final destinations, whether that means becoming a mother or not. Then there are women who reach the end of their fertility with great relief. They welcome the cessation of menstrual periods and the hassle of birth control, but aren’t sure what their sex lives will look or feel like in this new terrain.
The bottom line is that when it comes to our sexual selves, women are faced with overwhelming expectations. It’s natural to ask questions. I encourage you to do so, and to become as informed as possible. From questions about masturbation and low libido to the mind-body connection in fertility, we’ve been listening and providing advice on women’s sexual health and fertility for many years.
So here is a comfortable place for you to explore this sensitive subject and find answers to some of the questions you may have been afraid to ask.
Our most popular resources on sexuality and fertility
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Low sex drive in women — causes and solutions
The changes women experience in libido during perimenopause and menopause can make it feel like things will never return to normal. Read about the physiology behind these changes and learn how you can feel like yourself again.
Safe sex in midlife
Sexual wellness at midlife involves more than simply finding the right partner. This article explores the emotional and physical aspects of safe sex for middle aged women and provides practical advice on the most important part of healthy sex: communication.
Infertility: an alternative perspective
Most women understand that the ability to reproduce is intimately tied to our self worth and beliefs about sexuality. This is why so many women have difficulty discussing it — and why so many practitioners fall short when it comes to treating infertility. Here’s alternative approach to cultivating fertility and overall wellness.