Image: iStock/YakobchukOlena Image: iStock/YakobchukOlena

A new poll has discovered that a surprising number of people in Britain are not satisfied with their sex lives - but may be putting up and shutting up instead of doing something about it.

The research was carried out by Public Health England (PHE) on 7,367 women aged 16 to 64, who were quizzed about their sexual health and general wellbeing.

It was found that across all ages, 42 per cent of respondents reported being unhappy with their sex lives, with 25 to 34-year-olds the demographic least likely to be satisfied in bed.

Women aged 55 to 64 were least likely to say they were unhappy - but it's not clear if that's because they are genuinely satisfied or due to them putting on a brave face and simply accepting what they've got.

PHE officials said that no matter what their age, women shouldn't be afraid to want a good sex life, since it is important for mental and physical health, as well as emotional wellbeing.

Dr Sue Mann said: "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."

Dr Jane Dickson added: "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."

If your sex life has been flagging and you think there's a health problem at fault, then it's absolutely important that you go and seek medical help. However, if it's simply a case of life getting in the way, then there are a few things you could try to bring that old spark back.

Firstly, find a good time to talk about sex with your partner and perhaps discuss what feels good and what you might be missing at the moment. Don't criticise though - pick out what you do like and ask for more of that instead.

Secondly, use lubrication if you haven't been feeling particularly aroused. We've got plenty in stock at and it can help to get things started, perhaps even turning you on upon application.

Thirdly, branch out to try new things, whether it's a vibrator you can use with your partner, new positions you might find online or simply a different location than just the bed. It's warm outside, so how about the garden if you've got one that's secluded enough?

Finally, don't give up. Practice makes perfect and refreshing your sex life can be truly fulfilling, no matter what stage of life you're at. Pretend you're Carrie Bradshaw: know good sex and don't be afraid to ask for it.