Women's Health Over 40

Women's Health Over 40

With the advancing years, your responsibilities also advance, and you ended up being just a caregiver for others that neglects their health and self-care. But remember, your changing body with age requires extra care from you, as with age, rules start to change and your body is not working the same as it used to be in your teens or 20s. Especially women above 40 years need to be quite conscious about their self-care and must prioritize it as perimenopause and menopause time is also approaching.

If you don't prioritize your self-care and are having stressful days or an unhealthy diet resulting in weight gain and bone weakness, how will you be able to cope with the extra challenges coming in the next years with menopause?


Women in their forties face a lot of not-so-good health changes such as fatigue most of the time, painful joints, decreased libido, slow metabolism, fragile bones, less muscle mass, and new crease lines on the face. Because of hormonal changes, you are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, mood swings, perimenopause, breast cancer, and a range of other health issues. As women go through different hormonal phases and have more health issues in their lives than men, they also find it more difficult to maintain sexual wellness.

Good sexual health is an important part of a women’s well-being throughout her life. When a woman has healthy sexual life, it impacts her overall health and wellness.

But many women can have issues related to their sexual health such as low sex drive or pain during intercourse in their 40s near perimenopause time. These issues can badly affect their life and relationships. You must be in good overall health condition both physically and mentally to have a healthy sex life too. According to a 2016 study conducted on US adults, it was reported that the women in the study with poorer health documented reduced sexual satisfaction.

For your help, we have dug through the science and compiled a list of some health tips you must make in your 40s to keep your health good. This brief guide will discuss how women can stay healthy and have healthy sexual life throughout their 40s.


Self-care is a proven strategy to make you better able to cope with the increasing stresses of life and let the body function well to help you stay energetic, active, and in good mood. You will have a well-managed weight and an overall boost in your health.

In a study involving 20 middle-aged women, it was found that self-care was seen more among those who had better awareness about their health and the risk of associated health problems of not doing self-care and that’s why they were engaging in self-care to improve their mental and physical health.

With fulfilling all your responsibilities towards others, don’t neglect the importance of taking time for yourself and prioritizing your self-care.

Many key factors contribute to a women’s health and sexual wellness in the 40s. Among them, the chief and most common factors that are important for having a healthy sexual life and better wellness are almost the same that are required for leading a healthy lifestyle. Let’s have a look t them.


Not changing the diet according to age is the biggest mistake most women do. You are in your 40s and have all the foods you used to have back in your twenties thinking that they will not harm you.

Healthy and nutritious foods are the only options as disease risk increases at this age and also peri-menopausal symptoms can get aggravated if you are not eating rightly.

The key to choosing the right food options at this age is to avoid sugar, salt, refined processed foods, and saturated fats. Instead have a variety of foods with fiber, healthy fats, proteins and dense nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and this wholesome and balanced diet will serve as a powerful ally for your health and aid you in staying fit in these years.

Some of the diet mistakes are:

  • Having too many refined carbs and unhealthy fatty foods that tend to accumulate around your waistline.
  • Starting fad diets that miss key nutrients for preserving bone density and muscle mass increase osteoporosis risk later in life (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
  • Taking too much caffeine that can give you migraine headaches, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, stomach upset, frequent urination or inability to control urination, fast heartbeat, or muscle tremors. Remember, the coffee you used to have all your life for its antioxidant benefits, now indulging in it too much can compromise your sleep quality as the changing hormones have made us sensitive to caffeine and affect our sleep.
  • Having too much sugar that can increase inflammation and leads to insulin resistance in the body resulting in chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. A survey found that middle-aged women who showed dislike for fruits but a preference for sugary beverages had more psychological distress scores and that can be improved by increasing their fruit intake. According to a report published in the Clinics in Dermatology, fructose and glucose can affect the elastin and collagen that are responsible for skin elasticity, so if you want to keep wrinkles away, avoid products with added sugars.
  • Not taking the right vitamins that focus on the prevention of heart disease, osteoporosis, and other age-related illnesses.
  • Not hydrating enough. It can cause you to overheat, and increase the risk of blood clots, infections like UTIs, and injury during vigorous exercise.

To do:

  • Focus more on fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and dairy.
  • Replace carbs with more protein that helps with lean muscle and improves metabolism.
  • Maintain a healthy vitamin D level and take at least 1000mg of calcium every day ideally through food to keep your mood good and bones strong.
  • Replace caffeine with herbal teas, and sparkling water.
  • Stay hydrated.

Some vitamins to focus on:

  • Vitamin B Complex especially B12 and B9: improves energy, maintains nail, hair, and skin health, and enhances your digestion, mood, cardiovascular, and sleep health. They are also required for the hormone pathways to work well and reduce the risk for heart disease and certain cancer types. They are essential for normal brain and blood functioning.
  • Vitamin C: an immunity-booster. Its antioxidant nature prevents free radical damage and reduces aging symptoms. Its functions of iron absorption, collagen production, wound healing, progesterone production, bone, cartilage, and teeth maintenance aid greatly in this age.
  • Vitamin D: serves as an important shield against age-related changes. Deficiency in it at this age makes you prone to diabetes, anxiety, muscle pain, obesity, multiple sclerosis, fatigue, breast and colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, and heart diseases that are common after 40. According to current National Institutes of Health recommendations, you should be getting 600 IU per day.

Some good herbs and foods:

Some herbs and foods particularly good for sexual wellness are ginkgo Biloba, ginseng, maca, saffron, fenugreek, Tribulus Terrestris, chaste berry, apples, honey, coffee, chocolate, capsaicin, oysters, figs, and bananas.

In your craziness to improve sexual health, don’t try the supplements such as Spanish fly, yohimbine, mad honey, Bufo Toad, and also excessive alcohol, as they have more adverse effects than beneficial effects.


Demanding jobs and demanding families make you skimp on bedtime which can cause you obesity, stress, and heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, getting enough sleep in your 40s is as important as it is in your younger years.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 6-9 hours of sleep per night in this decade to keep your physical health, mental health, and quality of life good. Make getting a good night's sleep your priority for staying healthy and alert and having a good mood.

Studies have found that women who don't get enough sleep have lower levels of sexual desire as well as arousal. There is a strong correlation between not getting enough sleep or having sleep that is frequently disrupted and an increased risk of sexual dysfunction.

How to improve your sleeping habits:

1.  Set a comfortable temperature, use dim and warm lighting, provide a good smell, and have a supportive mattress.

2.  Use blackout curtains, a sleep mask, a white noise machine, headphones, or earplugs to block out noise and light.

3.  Maintain a constant sleep schedule, even on non-workdays. Be consistent with both your bedtime and waking times.

4  Keep devices out of the bedroom before going to sleep. In other words, turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

5.  Get some exercise and exposure to natural light regularly.

6.  It's important to develop a bedtime regimen that includes relaxing techniques.



Your forties are the time when the importance of regular medical check-ups starts emerging. Have gynae visits once a year to have good reproductive and sexual health. You need to be aware of your body and first self-exam it by noticing any changes in it such as breasts or symptoms of diabetes.

Few medical check-ups women must go through in their forties are:

  • A comprehensive eye test. Minor glaucoma if go unchecked can lead to central vision loss later. Because of shifting hormones, "dry eye" with itchiness and redness can be an issue for women in their 40s. Eyesight also falls and you may need reading glasses to focus on nearby objects.
  • Dental examinations and teeth cleanings. Poor gums are somehow correlated with diabetes, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, and heart and kidney disease.
  • Yearly screening mammograms for examination of breasts to rule out the chance of breast cancer or its early detection. The American Cancer Society indicated that for early breast cancer detection in the localized stage the 5-year relative rate of survival is 99%. So don’t suffer in silence.
  • Yearly ultrasound test to detect any fibroid, cyst, or uterus abnormality
  • A cervical smear test or Pap smear test: a regular examination of the pelvic area for detecting any changes in the cervical cells to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer once every three years or its early detection
  • Blood pressure and BMI
  • Complete metabolic panels and complete blood count detecting levels of blood sugar, hemoglobin, thyroid, cholesterol, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (improve in diet or supplement if you are deficient in vitamins)
  • Tests for hormonal changes
  • Colonoscopy to reveal and remove undetected polyps that can turn into cancer.
  • Sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis A, B, and C, syphilis, herpes, and trichomoniasis.
  • If you regularly feel pain during intercourse, have a low sex drive or lack pleasure from sexual activity, check for an underlying medical condition such as fibroids, endometriosis, infections, vaginismus, vaginal dryness, or vulvodynia that needs to be handled and treated immediately.

Sometimes symptoms of increased-risk diseases during the forties are vaguely felt by women as they are absorbed in their busy routines and are not aware of the importance of prioritizing their self-care so these tests help in the early detection of any health issue.

As mentioned earlier, disease risk increases with age so getting yourself screened on time is extremely important to avoid further complications and get treatment at an earlier stage but most women neglect these screenings.


Busy in your schedules, you ignore regular workouts that can be harmful to both your physical and mental health.

Exercise is the ultimate form of self-care for women above 40. Learn some easy workouts and follow your exercise routine regularly to not only stay healthy now but prepare yourself well for the coming years.

Exercise is especially crucial as you age. It increases metabolism, burns fat, builds bone density and strength, reverses age-related muscle loss, improves posture, lowers blood pressure, improves blood flow to the brain, promotes emotional well-being, manages healthy weight, and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injury, fractures, and osteoporosis.

For brain health, regular physical exercise reverses the signs of brain aging and keeps the mind stimulated and sharp.

Start a proper workout routine with at least 150 minutes of cardiorespiratory exercise per week. Also include balance and flexibility moves.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise on most days of the week and muscle-strengthening exercises two to three days a week are recommended.

Start slowly and don’t overdo as over-exercising increases the risk of orthopedic injuries and arthritis—which can cause mobility issues and chronic pain.

Exercise aids in releasing endorphins and some chemicals in the brain that makes you feel good. It turns down anger, improves sleep, and gives a new life perspective and a more satisfying life. Go outside for a walk, run, swim, jog, do cycling, or whatever you enjoy.

Kegel exercises particularly are ideal for enhancing sexual wellness. They are basic clench-and-release movements that you can do to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which are the area between your hips that houses your organs such as the uterus, bowel, and bladder.

Kegel exercises can relax your vaginal muscles, can make the vagina more open if you feel pain during intercourse, and make the process comfortable. They also work for improving blood circulation to your pelvic floor and vagina and can enhance sexual health and makes it easy to reach orgasm and increases lubrication.



A study based on the data of 10 years involving 1397 smoker women indicated that smoking was linked with increased depression risk, that’s why with advancing age, there is a need for intervention to quit smoking. You can ask your doctor about the techniques, tips, and tools to quit smoking.


This may seem repetitive but it is extremely important as so many women use their age as an excuse to pack on the pounds. After pregnancies and with increasing age, they think it is natural and normal to gain weight.

You must be aware of the ideal weight according to your age and height and strive to maintain that healthily as being overweight increases high blood pressure, cancer risk, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

According to research, losing 5-7% of body weight and exercising a half-hour at least five times a week, can lower the risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60 percent.


A stress-free mind is required for excelling in every field of life. The same is the case with your health. You also need to be mentally relaxed to improve your health and engage in sexual activity with your full zeal and zest. Women are more prone to stress in life than men. Increasing responsibilities at 40's such as balancing your work with looking after young kids and caring for aging parents can overburden you which gives you stress.

According to a study, job stress was found strongly correlated with women's reduced sexual satisfaction and extra stress was indicated to badly disturb sexual wellness.

  • Remember to take some time out for yourself daily and do mindful meditation practices such as yoga, body scan, breath-based therapy, or stretching exercises with mindfulness to become more aware of the current moment and stay calm with good emotional and mental well-being. The importance of meditation and mindfulness exercises increases manifolds now to have just positive vibes.
  • You can also have a massage, read a good book, or hum to feel relaxed. Humming increases nitric oxide levels that enhance your mood by releasing endorphins and the love hormone oxytocin and also keeps you calmed by reducing blood pressure.
  • Learn to say ‘No’, and avoid overburdening yourself.
  • Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy doing such as painting, swimming, gardening, or having a spa session.
  • Have a strong support system. Meet your friends and maintain good ties with your family. Resilience is especially linked with better physical, mental and emotional health in the advancing years.


In the '40s, you may need certain medications for some health conditions. Some of these medications can negatively impact your health and sexual wellness. For example, studies have reported that antidepressants may be associated with poorer sexual health. Talk with your doctor that how you can minimize the potential side effects of medications and maybe some alternative medicines are needed in some health conditions if side effects are not managed.


The importance of prioritizing self-care for women above 40 can’t be denied and it is not something selfish. All the women out there who are 40 or above, and want to lead a healthy, happier, contented, active, and vibrant life, keep yourself well equipped with the knowledge about making changes in your lifestyle with age. Follow the self-care tips mentioned in this article and let your body say thanks to you.

Back to blog