Dear Annie: “Frustrated in N.J.” wrote to say that his 65-year-old wife no longer wants to have sex with him because of vaginal dryness. In your response, in which you recommended counseling (which may indeed be needed), you missed an opportunity to educate your readers about what can be done about this problem.
I’m 67 and still enjoy sex with my husband. When I talked to my doctor about the discomfort of vaginal dryness a few years ago, she recommended a vaginal ring that emits a very low amount of estrogen. It isn’t cheap, but otherwise it’s a godsend. – Still Frisky in My Late 60s
Dear Still Frisky: We are grateful to all the readers (male and female) who wrote in response to that letter and offered suggestions and hope:
From California: I am a 60-year-old woman who had a hysterectomy when I was 50. I wanted to stay away from artificial hormones, but I was suffering. I eventually went to a compounding pharmacy for a natural hormone mixture prescribed by a doctor. I felt much better – but still had no interest in sex. There is a sort of mourning period when the ability to have children, or when your definition of who you are, is turned upside down. My decision to separate from my husband started with a pedicure, then doing something with my gray hair, then the gym. I began to feel alive again in the libido area, and now, with another man, intimacy is better than ever.
Louisiana: I am a retired nurse. Couples can find the act of touching, imagining and cuddling as satisfactory as the physical act. It is vital in our aging process to explore new and different methods to achieve the desired results.
Louisville, Ky.: I am 65 and struggled with the same situation until five years ago. Finally, a female gynecologist prescribed a combination of estrogen and testosterone. That, along with a lubricant, did the trick to satisfy my hubby and me.