Experts advise, however, that a drop in libido at any age merits a trip to the doctor. While it's true that sex drive can slow down with age in both men and women, many older people enjoy active sex lives into their 70s and beyond. In a 1999 AARP survey, 70% of all respondents who had partners had sex at least once a month. "For people who have had very active and positive sex lives, age-related hormone changes can present a real challenge," says Davidson.
- Heart disease: Sex drive changes, especially in conjunction with erectile dysfunction (ED), could be a red flag for serious medical conditions, such as a heart problem.
- Depression: Aging can change your body's levels of serotonin, which helps regulate mood.
- Prescription drugs: Take a close look at the contents of your medicine cabinet. Are you taking anything that cites sex drive problems as a side effect?
- Hormonal changes: Low libido may be a result of menopause if you're female, or in older men it may stem from hormonal changes that are sometimes called "andropause." In these cases, libido may respond to medical treatment if you choose to pursue that route.
- Erectile dysfunction: It's common in older men and experts say it can cause a lowered libido in both partners.