SO much for being 40 and fabulous.

The decade when women are supposedly in the prime of their life appears to be one in which they have most anxieties in the bedroom.

They were found to be more concerned about their bodies than those in their 50s, 60s and 70s – with their fears having an impact on their sex life.
Researchers from the US questioned more than 500 women aged between 40 and 75 and found that the two greatest concerns were diminished or no interest in sex and painful intercourse.

Among all respondents, sexual health concerns ‘somewhat decreased’ their ability to enjoy their relationship.

But it was women in their 40s who suffered the most negative effects on their love life, according to research from the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Centre.

For respondents aged 40 to 69 years, feeling better about their bodies was the most frequent response when asked what would increase satisfaction with their sex life.

All the age groups agreed that sexual activity was important to their overall quality of life, with the exception of women in their 70s.

The survey found that 52 per cent of respondents had not discussed their sexual concerns with their doctors.

Of those women who did, 70 per cent indicated that they had to initiate that conversation with their GP.

Dr Sheryl Kingsberg, chief of the division of behavioural medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Centre and lead author of the study, said: ‘This survey sheds light on how women feel about the impact of sexual health concerns on their overall quality of life.

‘Although the women in this study felt that their sexual satisfaction could improve, the majority remained happy with the quality of their partnered relationships, demonstrating that sex may become less of a determinant of overall relationship satisfaction over time.’

Women in their 40s who suffered the most negative effects on their love life, according to research from the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Centre.

Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said: ‘This study additionally confirms that better communications are needed between healthcare providers and their middle-aged women patients to address sexual function concerns.’

The results of the survey will be presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society in Orlando.

The menopause can be one cause of painful intercourse for women in middle age.

But many women suffer because they are not aware that it is a medical condition caused by falling hormone levels, a study found.

The condition, vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA), occurs due to thinning and drying of the vaginal walls because of lowering of oestrogen in the blood.

An internet-based survey of 1,858 post-menopausal women in the US with symptoms of VVA, was specifically designed to assess women’s awareness of the condition and their behaviours and attitudes associated with its treatment. In the survey, 81 per cent of respondents said they were not aware that VVA is a medical condition. And more than two-thirds said they were not familiar with most of the prescription VVA products.

Study lead author Michael Krychman, of the Southern California Centre for Sexual Health, said: ‘Women remain naive to the safe and effective treatment options that are currently available and are still, for the most part, underinformed and undertreated.’

The NHS recommends a series of ‘self-help’ options that can be bought without a prescription. Women are advised to see a GP if such over-the-counter measures are not effective or if symptoms are particularly severe.

culled from daily mail

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