QUESTION: I’m 45, have been with my husband for 18 years and we’ve always shared a good love life. However, over the past year I’ve found I have days where I feel very turned on and I get cross if he doesn’t respond. This is followed by weeks when the thought of making love repels me. My other half is bewildered, one day I’m begging him for sex, another I cold shoulder his advances. What can I do to level out my libido?
ANSWER: If I were your GP, my first question would be to ask if you’ve come off the Pill in the last couple of years, as it can take time for the body to readjust.
You sound like someone newly in thrall to her hormones and that can come as a surprise if your contraception has masked your monthly cycle - which for many is typified by peaks and troughs of libido.
When you’re young, you tend to have great stores of energy for making love - since you don’t have children and responsibilities to sap your libido. This can mean women aren’t so sensitive to fluctuations in their levels of desire.
Also, when you are newly in love, nothing will dampen your ardour - not even pesky hormones, late nights or alcohol. The fact is, no two women are the same when it comes to their sex hormone levels, nor in the state of their relationships. This is why it’s so hard to diagnose genuine sexual dysfunction. Every factor needs to be taken into consideration.
Some of your occasional ambivalence will come from the fact that the pair of you have become cosy partners rather than red-hot lovers. You can love your partner more than words can ever express and still find years of domesticity have dulled their sexual allure.
Now is an excellent time to take stock and make sure you stop falling into romantic ruts. Are either of you ever brave enough to suggest new things in bed? Do the times when you’re hot to trot coincide with a particularly sensual approach from your spouse? You need to work this out.
You express the fluctuations in your libido as random, when there may be specific triggers. Many women feel far from aroused the week before their period when sex hormone levels drop sharply.
However, there’s a correlating rise in desire following menstruation and a notable peak around ovulation - unsurprising, since we are designed by nature to feel in the mood at our most fertile.
You may be perimenopausal. The physiological changes that occur just before the menopause make many women feel a bit contrary, so it’s worth seeing a gynaecologist about your symptoms.
It’s also good to cut down on alcohol and caffeine, which can wreak havoc with your lust levels. Not noticing changes in your erotic response until now suggests you share a powerful attraction with your husband and bodes well for ‘the change’. - Daily Mail