A sparkling sex life is something we'd all like to have, regardless of age. When sex is less than satisfying, it's easy to point the finger at work, money, family, and a million other factors that combine to make it less important and, thus, less fulfilling. But as today's leading physicians and sex researchers are discovering, the link between female libido and the constantly fluctuating hormones produced by the ovaries is profound.
Find out how controlling your body's unique balance can make the difference between a sex life that's so-so and one that soars.
The Advantages: A Dazzling Time to Do It
"At this age, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are at their highest levels," says Laura Berman, PhD, the author of Loving Sex: The Book of Joy and Passion. This biological bounce is an opportunity for lots of great loving—and babies too. Because hormones surge just before ovulation, women are more likely to fantasize about and initiate sex during this 2-to 4-day window, according to studies.
The Challenges: A Need for More Roar-Gasms
According to the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 20-somethings are less orgasmic than older women.
"Despite the hormone swirl, women in their twenties may not yet have the confidence to ask for what they want in bed, so they're less satisfied," says Christiane Northrup, MD, the author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.
A sex-drive stopper: A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine confirms that the Pill, a 20-something birth control favorite, actually causes a decrease in sex hormones, especially testosterone.
The Advantages: Prime Time
"A woman in her thirties may well find herself at an emotional sexual peak," says Dr. Berman. "She's clear about what she wants, even though estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone begin to fluctuate and drop off during this decade."
More good news: Studies have shown that as women age, they become less anxious about their physical "flaws," which helps when one is baring all in the bedroom.
"The key," says Dr. Northrup, "is to think of yourself as a sexy, attractive woman, regardless of hormone tempo."
The Challenges: Mommy Madness
After childbirth, testosterone falls to extremely low levels, and in nursing mothers, the hormone prolactin can suppress ovulation, as well as the production of estrogen and progesterone. All of that combines to make the thought of sex a big fat snore.
One suggestion? Masturbation. Regardless of age, just using your equipment will turn on your equipment, which will in turn improve circulation and help balance your hormones.
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