An Older Person’s Sexual Health Guide
You might be getting older, but it doesn’t mean that your life is over. You can still have just as much fun as you did when you were younger.
In fact, as you retire and your kids leave home, you can have even more time and energy to do the things that you want to do. Whether you’re single or you have a spouse or partner, one thing that you will probably keep doing is having sex. You might not be having it as much as in your younger years, but turning 50 doesn’t turn you sexless, either.
You might think that there’s nothing new to learn about sex and sexual health, but things change. Bodies change as they age, medical opinion evolves, and attitudes change too.
So how can you care for your sexual health as you get older?
Is Pregnancy Still a Concern?
Not having to worry about pregnancy is definitely a bonus for many people as they get older. However, it’s always smart to be cautious for a while. Many women are surprised by last-minute “menopause babies” because they assume they can no longer have children but have not yet completed menopause. Women going through perimenopause can and do get pregnant. Perimenopause, the period before the ovaries stop releasing eggs, usually happens around the 40s but can be earlier or later.
When periods become irregular and other symptoms make an appearance, you might assume that menopause has begun and you can no longer have children. However, irregular periods later in life are very normal and don’t necessarily mean that you are no longer fertile. Both women and men should be aware of this if they want to avoid a baby later in life.
You Can Still Get STDs
Pregnancy might not be a concern any longer, but that doesn’t mean that you have the green light to stop using contraceptives altogether. Many older people assume that because they don’t have to worry about pregnancy, condoms and other physical barriers such as dental dams are no longer necessary. But STDs in older people are increasing for this reason. Even if you have no risk of getting pregnant, it doesn’t make you immune to sexually transmitted infections. Unprotected sex can put you at risk of an STD, so it’s still important to make sure you’re using protection.
How Your Libido and Performance Can Be Affected By Aging
Changes in your body can affect your sex life as you get older. Women can experience problems such as vaginal dryness, while men often find that they have to deal with erectile dysfunction and want to know how to last longer in bed. In addition to changes in your body, you can find that your sex drive changes as you get older too. Many people find that they have a lower libido when they’re older, which can be due to a variety of causes. Your body produces fewer sex hormones, you may be dealing with various health problems, and you might take medication that affects your sex drive too.
There are various solutions that you might explore to help increase your sex drive or make sex more enjoyable. You can explore medications and products that help to address the problems that could be affecting your sex life. Women often use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) around the time of menopause, which helps to treat the symptoms and can improve sex drive too. It’s also helpful to talk about how you’re feeling and learn to relax.
Sex Is Good for Your Health – But Your Health May Affect Your Sex Life
Good news – sex is good for you. When you have safe, healthy sex it can help to improve both your physical health and your mood. It can help you to maintain healthy activity levels, raising your heart rate to about the same rate as any form of light exercise. You can lower your blood pressure through physical contact with others too, plus it might help you to deal with stress.
However, your health can also affect your sex life. Certain health problems may make it difficult for you to have sex, such as arthritis or a heart condition. Both the physical effect of a health problem and the emotional impact can affect your sex life. Talking to your doctor about both of these things can help you to manage how you feel and come up with possible solutions.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean that you stop having sex. However, it’s important to pay attention to your sexual health.