Over 40 and hot: Keeping libido through your 40s on up

HOUSTON – There's one change that comes with "the change" that a lot of women choose to accept because they're too embarrassed to bring it up.

Patient Pauline Schloesser said libido changes are often kept secret.

“It's like a second adolescence and that I don't think anybody prepared me for,” she said.

Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith, an obstetrician and gynecologist at HCA Gulf Coast Division-affiliated The Woman’s Hospital of Texas and Complete Women’s Care Center, said women can stay sexually vibrant throughout their lives.

“There are dramatic changes in our genital area, the tissue changes so that it becomes thinner and dryer and often that can cause intercourse to be painful. Women can experience a loss of muscle tone so that they experience vaginal relaxation, bladder issues, everything that area changes so estrogen replacement in the vaginal area can be very useful treatment for many women so that they can keep their sex lives healthy and vibrant,” Hardwick-Smith said.

She said if sex is painful, talk to your doctor.

“That also can be address with estrogen to keep that tissue feeling younger and more youthful. There are also some surgical and non-surgical techniques that can help to address those issues for women who have that particular complaint,” Hardwick-Smith said.

She mentioned techniques like Thermiva, which she said is inserted to generate collagen and blood flow.

“For many, many women it can be the start of a real rebirth of our sexual lives, our children have grown, sometimes you're entering new relationships or we have more time with our spouse,” Hardwick-Smith said.

She said more medications may be coming to the market to help more than just your spouse.

“Research and pharmaceutical companies are investing in it because we know that it's important and we've got all of our husbands taking Viagra and they need to have a willing partner,” Hardwick-Smith said.