Nearly half of British women are unhappy with their sex lives, according to new survey by Public Health England (PHE).
In the research that involved 7,300 women, experts looked into problems related to reproductive health, which included unsatisfactory sex life.
According to the findings, women aged 25 to 34 are the least satisfied in the bedroom, with nearly half of those admitting to lack of sexual enjoyment.
But things could look up as you get older, as women aged 55 to 64 reported to be more satisfied with their sex lives – less than a third reported experiencing unfulfilled sex lives.
However, it’s not clear if their increase in satisfaction was because they were enjoying sex more or having less sex.
According to the research, the factors linked to women’s low sexual function were being unhappy in their relationships, having been diagnosed with STIs and having difficulty communicating with their romantic partners.
On the other end of the spectrum, positive sexuality – defined by PHE as experiencing high levels of sexual satisfaction, sexual self-esteem and sexual pleasure – were linked with improved relationship quality, use of contraception, and an absence of STIs.
Less alcohol use, improved mental health and a positive attitude towards education were all factors linked to healthy sex lives, specifically in young women.
Dr Jane Dickson, vice president of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, said of the findings: ‘The importance of having a healthy, enjoyable sexual life cannot be overstated as this strongly contributes to general wellbeing.
‘However, there is still much stigma and embarrassment when it comes to sexual function – especially when we are talking about women’s sexual pleasure. Society still relegates women’s sexual pleasure to the background.’
Public health consultant at PHE Sue Mann also commented on the survey’s findings, saying that having a fulfilling sex life is key to women’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
‘Our data show that sexual enjoyment is a key part of good reproductive health and that while many women are reporting sexual dysfunction, many are not seeking help’, she said.
‘This is particularly true in the workplace where many women do not feel comfortable speaking to their managers about the real reasons for needing to take time off work.
‘We want to empower women to educate themselves about good reproductive health and to feel confident speaking about it.’