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Sexuality in later life

  • Posted on- Aug 28, 2017
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Written by site author.

Sex is an important part of physical and emotional health. Sexuality changes with age, but sexuality in later life does not necessarily equate to complete loss of sexuality. Research has shown that some of the most significant factors impacting the sexuality of older adults are hormonal changes, medical conditions, and loss of a partner.

Normal physical changes with Age

Women may notice changes in the shape and flexibility of vagina. These gradual changes may not cause a serious loss in the ability to enjoy sexual intercourse. There will be a slight decrease in vaginal lubrication in women that would affect sexuality in later life. A pharmacist can suggest over the counter vaginal lubricants.

Men often notice more distinct changes. It may take longer to get an erection or the erection may not be as firm or as large as in earlier years. The feeling that an ejaculation is about to happen may be lesser. The loss of erection after orgasm may be more rapid or it may take longer before an erection is again possible. Some men may find they need more manual refreshment.

With increase in age in men, impotence seems to rise, especially in men with heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Impotence is the loss of ability to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Consult with your doctor. For many men impotence can be managed and perhaps even reversed.

What causes Sexual Problems in life?

Your sexuality in later life can be affected by some medicines, disabilities or surgeries. Problems in your relationship can also affect your ability to enjoy sexual intercourse.


Joint pain due to arthritis can make sexuality in later life uncomfortable. Exercise, drugs, and probably joint replacement surgery may relieve this pain. Changing the position or timing can be helpful for sexuality in later life.

Chronic Pain

Any normal pain can interfere with sexuality in later life. Chronic pain does not have to be a part of growing older and can often be treated. But, some pain medicines can interfere with sexuality in later life. You should always consult your doctor if you have unwanted side effects from any medication.


This is one of the diseases that can cause Erectile Dysfunction in men and it can create problem for men in sexuality in later life. In most of the cases, the problem can be solved with the help of medical treatment.

Women suffering from diabetes are more likely to have vaginal yeast infections, which can cause itching, irritation and make sexual intercourse undesirable. Yeast infections can be treated and sexuality in later life can be improved.


Leaking of urine is more common in later life, especially in women. This is because of the extra pressure on the belly during sexuality and may result in avoiding sexual intercourse by some people. Incontinence can be helped by change in positions and incontinence can be treated and sexuality in later life can be preserved.

Does safe sex relate to age?

Age does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Older people who are sexually active may be at risk for diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes and Hepatitis B.

Almost anyone who is sexually active is also at risk of being infected with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. The number of older people with HIV is growing. Always use a condom during sex to protect yourself. Lubricated condoms or water based lubricating jelly with condoms may be more comfortable for women with vaginal dryness.

How can you maintain a satisfying sex life?

The following strategies may help you enjoy a satisfying sexuality in later life:

1.Stay sexually fit

Men who have frequent penile stimulation have an easier time getting and maintaining erections. Self-lubrication is better in women who have frequent genital and clitoral stimulation. To help you stay "sexually fit," it may help to masturbate or give yourself pleasure. Masturbating is a normal part of a healthy sexual life.

2.Explore outercourse

A good sexuality in later life involves more than just intercourse. It is also about the intimacy and touch. Anyone can be benefited from those activities. Even if you are ill, you can engage in intimate acts and benefit from physical closeness.

Take the pressure off by expanding your idea of sexuality to include more than penetration and orgasm. Outercourse is the term used to describe a different variety of erotic experiences that do not include penetrative sexual intercourse. It's all about pleasure and connectedness. This can bring change in sexuality in later life.

3.Improve your communication

As your body and feelings change with age, it is important to communicate your thoughts, fears and desires to your partner. People sometimes assume their partners know what they like in the bedroom but that's not always true. With improvement in communication, sexuality in later life would be benefited.


user profile image
14-03-2018 02:43 PM

Thanks for sharing this very important article. We should not assume that sexual activity always decreases with age.

user profile image
14-03-2018 02:42 PM

This is an amazing article. I and my wife are in our late 70s. We still enjoy sexual relations not as frequently or as intense but these changes are more than compensated for by the nature of our love- making.

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