- Few women associate menopause with the frequency or quality of their sexual activity
- Women’s lives were so busy that they had little time or energy for a sex life.
The stresses of modern life are more likely to affect the sex lives of middle-aged women than menopause, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research.
The study of over 2,000 women found that very few women linked their menopause to a reduction in the frequency or quality of their sexual activity.
Instead, women claimed that the weight of pressure on middle-aged women left them so busy that they left little time or energy to enjoy a regular and satisfying sex life, a reported News Medical.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the University of Glasgow and UCL interviewed women who noted the burden their busy schedules and the challenges of balancing family, professional and social life.
They spoke of financial and relationship difficulties, worries about family members, and the concurrent demands of children and aging parents, both of whom need practical help and emotional support and do little to help reduce workload or stress.
Research has found that women’s lives are so busy that they leave little time or energy to enjoy a regular and satisfying sex life.
Of more than 2,000 women aged 40 to 59 surveyed, a third had not had sex in the past month and less than half were dissatisfied with their sex life.
The survey concluded that age and menopausal status were less important in determining levels of sexual satisfaction, function and frequency than relationship and lifestyle factors and health status.
Kaye Wellings, lead author and Research Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health at LSHTM, said: “Few studies have considered women’s perspectives to try to understand the range of factors influencing the sexual experience. in middle age.
“The decline in frequency must be defined in the context of social change as well as individual circumstances.”
She highlighted the impact of the “double caregiving duties” that middle-aged women face, as they are often tasked with caring for children and parents.
Kaye added: “Today’s middle-aged women are often dubbed the ‘sandwich generation’ – they married and had children later than previous generations, they work and may find themselves supporting needs of dependent children and elderly relatives, while perhaps dealing with emerging health issues.
The research was undertaken in the hope that the results would reassure women during this period of their lives.
Said author said: “Frequency of intercourse has little relationship to satisfaction with sex life suggests that intimacy may be a more important factor in determining sexual well-being – a message that health workers could transmit beneficially to women.”