Sexual Changes

As people get older they may have less sex, but not because they don’t want to, but because their body won’t allow them to. As people get older they get weaker and tire more easily and therefore have less sex, but most likely don’t stop having sex. There are also other reasons that some elderly people do not have sex and it may be because they don’t have a partner to have sex with because they passed away or have become ill. If you don’t have a partner then anything that involves touch (massage, getting your hair done) and being with other people will help with feeling good as you are aging.

Erectile Dysfunction (impotence) is the inability of men to get and keep and erection for sex (there are drugs that can be used to help). This is quite common with older men because it takes them longer to get an erection, especially after ejaculation. Symptoms of erectile dysfunction include the inability to get an erection whether it is just at some points in time (e.g. when with your partner) or all the time. The causes can be other medical conditions, medications, and/or stress.

Your GP, your sexual history, your cardiovascular health, testing, and/or a psychological assessment usually diagnose erectile dysfunction. Once it has been diagnosed the conditions that have been causing it will be treated, but lifestyle changes (for example weight loss, not smoking, not drinking, not doing illegal drugs, exercise and reducing stress) can also help with preventing erectile dysfunction.

Dyspareunia is pain after or during sex. This could be due to lack of lubrication, a common problem for women who have been through menopause (using lubricants can help).

Arthritis is painful and/or swollen joints (see arthritis). This may make some positions that older people want to use for sex more painful than they should be. You can experiment with different positions and find one that isn’t painful.

Menopause is the end of menstruation. This can cause itchiness or discomfort during sex because of dryness.

Useful Websites

Did you know?

* Sex does not stop when you reach the age of 60; most people still have sex on a regular basis.

* Many couples have a better sex life when they are older because the health changes cause them to become more creative with each other.

* People who are sexually active live longer, look younger, have better immunity, have better self-esteem, and improve their fitness.