Sex is often an important aspect of healthy relationships, and being physically intimate is an integral part of the bonding process for many couples. But what happens when the initial honeymoon period is over and you and your partner no longer have as much fun between the sheets as you used to?
Various health problems and the aging process can all contribute to a declining sex drive, but the good news is that a dry spell doesn't have to determine your fate as a couple. Take a look below for some of the more common reasons why your sex life may be struggling.
A busy lifestyle can lead us to feel increasingly stressed out and unable to find time for sex, what with juggling a family life, household, career and leisure activites. Britons in particular are having sex less than once a week, according to a 2014 survey in The Observer. Many of us are now coming home from work and engaging more with technology than with our partner. This could mean we're less emotionally or physically prepared to be intimate with each other.
Solution: Spend more 'down time' with your partner and get to know them again on an intimate level.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a condition where a man regularly climaxes too soon during sexual intercourse. It is thought to affect around 1 in 50 men in England. Various psychological factors can cause PE, including feelings of anxiety, guilt and even depression. PE can also be related to various hormonal problems. It can be an embarrassing problem for many men, disrupting potential sexual activity.
Solution: If you are experiencing feelings of stress or inadequacy, it's important to take steps to help you relax in your partner's presence. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drugs may also help improve you to control ejaculation.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or maintain an erection. Experiencing this problem can be very distressing and have a direct impact on sexual desire and performance. ED is a common condition with an estimated half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 suffering from it. ED is often caused by restricted blood flow to the penis or hormonal problems. There may also be psychological reasons, and these can include anxiety, depression and relationship problems.
Solution: lifestyle changes may help to improve ED, while talking with a psychologist may help to ease the stress or anxiety associated with this condition. There are also various treatments available to help with erection problems.
Menopausal symptoms can include hot flushes and night sweats, loss of libido and discomfort resulting from decreased lubrication of the vagina. These symptoms usually occur between the ages of 40 and 60 and can cause some women to feel reluctant to engage in sex.
Solution: If possible, try and avoid potential symptom triggers such as spicy food, caffeine, smoking and stress. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help to reduce the risks of vaginal dryness and restore circulating levels of the oestrogen hormone. Your GP may also recommend certain medicines or complementary therapies to support you through these symptoms.