April 23, 2024 3:00 pm

Do you really have less sex when you get older? In this podcast episode, we will delve into the often-misunderstood topic of sex and aging. I will be breaking down myths and presenting the facts faced by seniors.

Join me as I explore how sexual activity changes but doesn't necessarily decrease with age. I will also discuss the health benefits of maintaining an active sex life and offer insights on how seniors can manage and improve their sexual health. Tune in to discover a fresh perspective on intimacy in later life.

Episode Video

The Reality of Sex Life in Seniors

The Reality of Sex in Seniors
Photographer: Esther Ann | Source: Unsplash

What happens to one's sex life as they age? This common question leads many to assume that sexual activity falls off as the years pass. However, recent data and studies suggest otherwise. Thus revealing a more optimistic picture for seniors over 60.

It turns out, aging doesn't equate to a diminished sex life. In fact, a significant number of seniors remain sexually active well into their later years.

Senior Sex Life by the Numbers

According to projections from the US Census Bureau, the population of Americans aged 65 and above is expected to rise significantly. From 58 million in 2022 to 82 million by 2050. This demographic shift emphasizes the importance of addressing the lifestyle and health needs of older adults. This also includes their sexual well-being.

In addition, a surprising study from 2023 revealed that 42% of women and 60% of men between 65 and 74 years old are sexually active. Furthermore, a third of those in their 70s and 80s engage in sexual activities at least twice a month. These numbers challenge the stereotypes about sex in old age.

The Impact of Health on Senior Sex Life

Physical health inevitably changes as we age, and these changes can affect sexual activity. Also, common issues may arise for seniors, such as ED and vaginal dryness. These are often worsen by chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Despite these challenges, seniors adapt their sex practices to include non-penetrative activities such as kissing, fondling, and oral sex. These demonstrates resilience and flexibility in their intimate lives.

Women's Sexual Health in Menopause

Menopause brings about significant hormonal changes that can impact sexual function. Lower levels of hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone can lead to decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse. This is a condition known as vulvovaginal atrophy or genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Fortunately, these symptoms are treatable with local therapies like lubricants or hormonal creams.

Increasing STI Awareness Among Seniors

Interestingly, the rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among seniors highlights an often-overlooked aspect of senior health. Between 2010 and 2020, the incidence of gonorrhea in individuals aged 55 and older rose dramatically. This trend emphasizes the need for increased sexual health education and safe sex practices among older adults, particularly as online dating becomes more prevalent in this age group.

Conversations About Sexual Health

Despite the importance of sexual health, only a small percentage of older adults discuss this topic with their healthcare providers. Encouraging open dialogues about sexual health is crucial, as these conversations can lead to better understanding, treatment, and enjoyment of sex in old age.

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Final Thoughts

Aging doesn't equate to an end of sexual activity or enjoyment. With the right knowledge and resources, seniors can continue to have a satisfying sex life. Healthcare providers play a crucial role in supporting this aspect of senior health. In addition, treatments are available to manage any physical challenges that may arise.

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