Sexual problems can be extremely frustrating, not only because they put a damper on your sex life, but also because they can seriously affect your relationships. Fortunately, plenty of research is being done on the subject, most recently by the Institute for Family and Sexuality Studies in Belgium. A new study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, looked at how age correlates to different types of sexual dysfunction, including a lack of sexual desire, a lack of sexual arousal, difficulty or inability reaching orgasm, and pain during sex.
1. Lack of sexual desire: In this study, lack of sexual desire was least common in younger women, but it still affected more than 10 per cent of women between the ages of 20 to 24. It also affected about 20 per cent of women between the ages of 25 to 29, though it was most common in women in their 50s and 60s. But even though the incidence goes up with age, low desire is definitely not just an issue for older women.
2. Lubrication issues: Interestingly, in this study, authors found that lubrication difficulties were equally common between the ages of 16 and 49. After menopause and hormonal changes, the rates understandably got much higher. Issues with lubrication can make sex uncomfortable or even painful, so it's not a problem you can easily ignore. Vaginal dryness might be caused by anything from dehydration, certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, nursing, or changing hormone levels during menopause. Using a personal lubricant is a great way to combat the problem.
3. Orgasm difficulties: In this study, data results, trouble climaxing showed up in a U-shaped curve, with this particular sexual difficulty affecting mostly women between the ages of 20 to 24 (25.4 per cent) and gradually decreasing in women through their late 20s, 30s, and 40s. The rate only jumped up again when women reached their 50s.
4. Painful sex: Painful sex, or Dyspareunia, had similar age correlates to difficulty achieving orgasm. It was most frequently reported by women ages 16 to 19 (7.2 per cent) and was less common in women in their 30s and 40s. Rates steadily climbed back up once women hit their 50s, which is likely due to menopause and hormonal changes later in life.