Ask Gerda: What Occurs to Libido as We Age?


Gerda Endemann, our Senior Director of Science and Research, has a BS in Nutrition from UC Berkeley, a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from MIT and a passion for cherry picking in our wellness shop. She spends a lot of time interpreting research – both established and emerging. You can find some of her deep insights into health conditions in our growing library of articles called goop PhD. You can send your own questions to Gerda at [email protected]

Dear Goop, my libido seems less predictable than it used to be and it’s hard to say why. Is it inevitable that my libido will decrease as I get older? —Melissa

Hello Melissa. The libido decreases with age, as many women experience. This is not a problem when we are satisfied with our feelings. But some of us don’t want to give up sexual pleasure – we want the opportunity to experience it more (and better) than ever. Which, of course, is different from trying to have an active sex life, primarily to please a partner – some researchers call this a “maid” mindset. However, that’s a topic for another article; Here, let’s talk about what we can do to feel supported in finding pleasure for ourselves.

Some of the factors that contribute to decreased libido are vaginal dryness, vaginal tightness, pain, stress, fatigue, poor body image, and erectile dysfunction in partners. Bladder weakness doesn’t help either. These factors may become more common as you get older, but they can be addressed. Low libido is not a necessary consequence of aging, and sex can continue to be an important part of life, whether alone or with a partner.

In this case, even more so than any other health problem I write about, there are good, practical ways to adapt to changing sexual desires and functions. Traditional and conventional medicine and innovative technologies have given us products that can make a big difference. And if you haven’t made it a habit of asking about the kind of touches and toys and lubricants you want and need, now is a good time. Being less shy and less fearful is one of the pluses of maturity.

We can’t talk about libido without talking about estrogen. Estrogen levels begin to drop during perimenopause, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing changes associated with this in your late 30s. (For more information on this, see the goop PhD article on menopause.) We can attribute changes in our vulva, vagina, pelvic floor, and libido to low levels of estrogen, and estrogen treatment can help address these issues. Fluctuating testosterone levels are also likely to contribute, and extra testosterone can increase arousal and sexual fantasies. However, many women and their doctors are reluctant to take and prescribe hormones because of side effects. The safety profiles of the various forms of supplemental hormones have yet to be fully clarified.

Surprise – we’re not the first people to look for alternative ways to increase libido. Traditional medical practices have identified three herbs that are particularly helpful: fenugreek, shatavari, and saffron. The goop product development team has outdone itself this time with a supplement called DTF, which combines all of these botanicals. (If you don’t know what DTF stands for, you’re not alone. I had to look it up. It’s the f * ck.)

  1. Fenugreek comes to us from Asia, the Mediterranean and Ayurvedic medicine. DTF contains the clinically tested dose of Libifem®, a fenugreek extract with unique bioactive components, the fenusids. This extract has been shown to support healthy sexual arousal and lust, and in addition, menopausal women have reported improvements in menopausal symptoms when using Libifem. It is no accident that fenugreek is used for sexual health; it appears that this herb can induce some of the same gene responses as estrogen. *

    Shatavari comes to us from traditional Ayurvedic medicine, where it is used to support female reproductive health and a healthy hormonal balance. It’s considered an adaptogen, which means that instead of focusing on just one part of the body, it helps balance and rejuvenate the entire body system. *

    And saffron comes to us from Persian folk medicine. DTF contains the dose used in clinical studies that confirmed the use of saffron for mood support. *

  2. goop Wellness DTF goop, $ 55 / $ 50 with subscription

    goop Wellness DTF goop, $ 55 / $ 50
    with subscription


  3. If you’d rather try Shatavari on your own, Organic India makes a high quality Shatavari extract. This herb is recommended at every stage of a woman’s life. *

  4. goop Wellness DTF goop, $ 55 / $ 50 with subscription

    Organic India SHATAVARI Goop, $ 22


  1. Confident that your bladder won’t leak during sex can go a long way in helping you relax and enjoy yourself. More than 1 in 3 women – of any age – leak urine on exertion or coughing. A new device has been clinically proven to reduce these types of bladder leaks, even in women who have not responded to pelvic floor physiotherapy. Put on the INNOVO shorts, press and they give you 30 minutes of perfect pelvic floor contractions for healthy bladder control.

  2. Innovo INNOVO KIT goop, $ 450

    Innovo INNOVO KIT goop, $ 450


  1. My experience is that work and personal responsibility get bigger every year. Blended families contribute to the richness of life, but also to the demands on time and energy. I suspect that in addition to what is going on physiologically, you are taking less and less time for yourself. A little ritual to slow down: Spread a small amount of vagus nerve oil on your feet, your neck or where your nerve endings react most strongly.

  2. Thought Sanctuary VAGUS NERVE OIL Goop, $ 48

    Thought Sanctuary VAGUS NERVE OIL Goop, $ 48


  3. A good lubricant and selection of vibrators are very helpful at all ages, but even more so as we get older. Taboo Kit is designed as part of a sexual wellness routine to promote healthy vaginal and vulvar tissue. The massager uses heat to promote blood circulation, which, by the way, is essential for pleasure. And the water-based lubricant contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid with aloe leaf, passion flower and peony root. Use regularly.

  4. Taboo THE KIT Goop, $ 135

    Taboo THE KIT goop, $ 135


  5. Pulse gives us another way to take advantage of the powerful benefits of heat. We previously struggled with ways to heat massage oil and lube, but the product developers must have read our mind because they solved this problem. Simply place your hand in the smooth warmer and you will receive a dollop of warm massage oil with safflower, sunflower, grape seed and jojoba oil. Easily swap the pods for a dollop of water-based lube with chia seed extract, which is smooth but not sticky.

  6. Pulse PULSE WARMER Goop, $ 199

    Pulse PULSE WARMER Goop, $ 199








  9. Libido comes from the brain and from nerve endings throughout the body. Make sure you are getting enough B vitamins, which support the production of neurotransmitters – they also support healthy energy levels. If you’re experiencing menopausal symptoms, goop’s daily multivitamin multivitamin Madame Ovary is a great way to get your vitamins and other nutrients and provide nutritional support for mild hot flashes and stress-related fatigue. *

  10. goop Wellness MADAME OVARY goop, $ 95 / $ 75 with subscription

    goop Wellness MADAME OVARIANT goop, $ 90 / $ 75
    with subscription


This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied on for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article contains the advice of a doctor or alternative practitioner, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of goop.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Libifem® is a registered trademark of Gencor.




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