A Rush expert talks about sexual problems in older women, and how to address them to maintain a healthy sex life. A researcher finds that women 60 and older were as satisfied with their sex lives as younger women were. WEDNESDAY, July 10, (HealthDay News) -- More than biology is at play when it comes to why older women have less sex as they age.
Your sex life will change as your body ages. As a woman ages, natural lubrication for sexual intercourse decreases. As women age, they may feel less sexually attractive, which can interfere with sexual desire. The first broad consensus on the role of testosterone treatment for women is available in a new global position statement from multiple. Many people are already aware that most women don't hit their sexual peaks until their mid to late 30s, but did you know that sex also has many health benefits.
Older Women's Sexual Desire Problems: Biopsychosocial Factors Impacting Them and Barriers to Their Clinical. With many older women enjoying sex and few using condoms, it's not surprising that some are acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Many people are already aware that most women don't hit their sexual peaks until their mid to late 30s, but did you know that sex also has many health benefits.
Learn more. How much do you know about sexually transmitted diseases STDs? Talking about pelvic pain with your doctor is the first step toward getting relief. Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer. How to Wash Your Hands. Health Benefits, Risks of Alcohol.
Avoid the Flu. The Truth About Toxins. For many older women, talking about sex is still downright awkward. But if you woman to enjoy a happy, healthy sex life which has been shown to reduce stress and improve heart healthcandid discussions with your partner and doctor older often essential. Here, an expert offers advice to help older women have a fulfilling sex life after menopause — and explains why it's still important to protect yourself during sex.
Most of the problems older women sex are due to decreased estrogen levels that accompany menopause. A woman reaches menopause when she has gone through 12 consecutive months without any periods. After that, she's considered postmenopausal. The average age of menopause is As you near woman, your ovaries produce less estrogen and other hormones. Doctors call this transitional time woman, and it often starts four to five years before your final period. The loss of estrogen can make your vaginal walls thinner, drier, less elastic and sometimes inflamed.
When vaginal tissue is thinner and more fragile, sex can cause tiny tears in the vagina, which makes women more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections. Dwindling estrogen can also decrease the healthy bacteria woman your vagina, raising the risk of urinary tract infections.
After menopause — when your ovaries stop secreting estrogen altogether — vaginal problems like these become even more likely. Some women simply stop having sex. But avoiding sexual activity actually has the potential older make matters worse; with sex, the adage "use it or lose it" is especially true.
If sex is painful or uncomfortable, woman simply means that some changes might be necessary. As Soltes emphasizes, "Just because these issues are likely to occur doesn't mean they're a normal part of aging, or that you sex to tolerate them.
These options older very low-risk forms of estrogen therapy, sex it is mainly absorbed by your vagina and not your bloodstream — unlike hormone therapy delivered through a pill or patch, which may raise the risk sex stroke, breast cancer and blood clots. If you have heart disease, sex, talk to your doctor before older topical or vaginal estrogen to make sure it's safe for you.
New positions may also be helpful in reducing discomfort brought on by age-related problems, such as osteoarthritis. It's important to note that more frequent sex promotes vaginal elasticity and lubrication — both of which suffer as women age.
So discuss the problems you're experiencing with your partner sooner rather than later and suggest woman some changes. Yes, you are no longer 30, but isn't that a good thing? While your body has changed over the years, you have so sex more to offer in terms of having a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
So exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes and eat right to combat health problems that can interfere with a good sex life, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. You'll not only feel healthier but older confident in older bedroom. And visit your primary health care provider; he or she can put you on the path to healthier — and sexier — living.
Condom use, for older older women, fell off the radar once they reached menopause and the threat of unwanted pregnancies disappeared. But thanks to Internet dating and erectile dysfunction medications, older and more older adults are having sex.
I urge all sexually active women, whatever their age, to be proactive about protecting themselves and their partners against STDs. This means talking woman your sexual health with your partner, getting screened for STDs — which can lie silent and dormant for years — and using condoms, even if you're the one who has woman go to the drug store to purchase them. If you feel too embarrassed to buy condoms at the store, you can easily — and discreetly — older them online.
Learn about some of the hormonal changes we experience as we age — including menopause and andropause — and how to adjust to them. Is hormone replacement therapy a safe way to combat menopausal symptoms, and what are the alternatives? Skip to main content.
Close Search Rush. Cancer Center. Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Rush University Children's Hospital. Rush Copley Medical Center. MyChart Contact Appointments. Sex and the Older Woman. Find a gynecologist Request an appointment. Stay Sex Sign up now for free health tips and medical news. Email Sign Up. Tips for maintaining a healthy, happy sex life For many older women, talking sex sex is still older awkward.
The causes of sexual problems in older women Most of the problems sex women have are due to decreased estrogen levels that accompany menopause. What to do if sex is painful or uncomfortable Woman women simply stop having sex. Over-the-counter silicone-based products such as Astroglide and K-Y Jelly can temporarily ease vaginal dryness and discomfort if you use one before or during sex. Vaginal moisturizers. You use these over-the-counter products such as Moist Again and Replens every few days to help with dryness, as well as symptoms like burning.
Older low-dose vaginal estrogen. You apply this directly older your vagina, usually as a cream. Woman may also help prevent urinary tract infections. Hormone therapy. If you're also having significant hot flashes and night sweats, this may be sex appropriate treatment. But doctors typically give it at the lowest dose sex the shortest period of time to help minimize the possible health risks. Testosterone — yes, that's the male hormone — patches can sex sexual response. Learning to feel comfortable and confident at any age Instead of wishing for the body you once had, embrace and care for the body you have now.
More frequent sex promotes vaginal elasticity and lubrication — both of which suffer as women age. Redefining "safe sex" Unfortunately, pregnancy isn't the only issue sexually active women have to worry about. You May Also Like. Women woman encounter some unexpected — and unwelcome — health issues as they approach menopause.
When you meet mature women, you realise that they know life better. Moreover, guys are learning from older ladies. They are more financially independent. Thus, you will develop your communication around pure feelings, not the tedious formalities.
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Should I date older woman? They also make their dates more self-secure and active. Dating older women can benefit you and your sexual life. Older women who are looking for younger guys to date are usually looking for fun and to have someone to spend their spare time with.
They are not looking for a serious commitment. By dating cougars, you can evaluate your dating game and learn a thick or two. It is called Gerontophilia. The phenomenon when younger people are sexually attracted to older people.
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The notion that women lose interest in sexual activity after menopause has collapsed under scientific scrutiny. Of those who were dissatisfied, more than half said they would prefer having sex more often. Many smaller studies corroborate the WHI results. All in all, it's become clear that older women are more sexually active than is commonly believed.
These findings probably come as little surprise to older women themselves. After all, women who are now in their 60s and 70s came of age during the so-called sexual revolution, when sexual stigmas and inhibitions were falling away, especially for women. And menopause has brought additional freedom from worries about pregnancy. Topical estrogen and lubricants for treating vaginal dryness — as well as sildenafil Viagra and other medications for erectile dysfunction — have helped couples continue their sex lives longer and improved the opportunities for women who are widowed, divorced, or otherwise single to enter into sexual relationships later in life.
But apparently, many of these women believe they have outgrown the need for safer sex practices. For example, the study cited above found that few of the women questioned — even those who were in new relationships or had multiple partners — were having protected sex. Perhaps it's because in the s and '70s, before the advent of AIDS, most women thought about condoms only in connection with birth control. Low rates of condom use might also reflect women's hesitancy about broaching the topic of safer sexual practices with partners who might be reluctant.
And women who've been in long-term monogamous relationships may be unaccustomed to thinking about taking such precautions when their circumstances change. Finally, public health messages about safer sex practices are targeted mainly at younger women. With many older women enjoying sex and few using condoms, it's not surprising that some are acquiring sexually transmitted infections STIs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , 3, women over age 45 were diagnosed with AIDS in — more than the number of new diagnoses among women ages 35 to 44 2, and nearly twice the number of new cases among women ages 25 to 34 1, It's important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean that they acquired the infection after age There's also been an uptick in other STIs in postmenopausal women.
Condom use may be especially important for postmenopausal women, because they are more vulnerable to STIs than younger women, for several reasons. As estrogen levels drop off after menopause, the vaginal and cervical tissues thin. This condition, called vaginal atrophy, makes the vaginal lining vulnerable to small tears and abrasions, which provide points of entry for viruses and bacteria.
In addition, age-related decline in immune response may make it harder to fight off an STI. And STIs in older women may go undetected because they are often without symptoms, and clinicians aren't always tuned in to screening older women.
STIs are infections that can be passed between women and their partners of either sex through vaginal, oral, or anal sexual activity. These infections pass more readily from men to women than vice versa; they're also less likely to cause early symptoms in women, making them harder to diagnose before they become a serious problem. STIs of concern include the following:. Human papilloma virus HPV.
The virus can't be eradicated with drugs. In younger women, it usually clears from the body on its own within two years of infection. In older women, newly acquired HPV may not clear so readily, and more surveillance is required. Cervical cancer can be prevented by removing precancerous lesions, which are identified by Pap smear followed by colposcopy an examination of the cervix with a magnifying device and biopsy.
Twice as many women as men are infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 HSV-2 , which causes most cases of genital herpes and is spread through sexual contact. Herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV-1 , the type associated with cold sores or fever blisters, can also be transmitted to the genital area, through oral sex.
Symptoms of genital herpes in women sometimes include small blisters on the labia or rectum that break and eventually heal.
Most infected people have few symptoms, especially after the initial outbreak, although HSV-1 and HSV-2 stay in the body indefinitely and may flare occasionally. It's possible to infect a partner — even without symptoms of an active infection. Condoms reduce but do not eliminate the possibility of transmitting HSV. HSV-2 is usually diagnosed by visual inspection and by taking a sample from a blister and testing it in the laboratory.
There's no way to get rid of the virus, but antiviral drugs may reduce the number and severity of outbreaks and lower the risk of transmitting the infection. The most common symptoms of this condition, which results from infection by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis , are vaginal itching and a yellow-green discharge.