Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seniors Can Enjoy Sex Into Their 80s

Yep, you heard it right. Today’s senior citizens are proving that you can enjoy sex well into your 80s. During a survey, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, conducted by the University of Chicago, men and women ranging in the ages of 57 to 85 were asked questions regarding their sexual activity over the past year. Based on the information gathered, it seems some men and women are enjoying their sex lives well into their later years.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted from mid-2005 to March 2006 involving 1,550 women and 1,455 men, in the privacy of their own homes. While around half of those evaluated admitted to having at least one disturbing sexual situation, around 68 percent of the men and 42 percent of the women said they had sex over the past year. During the survey, the researchers considered factors such as age, race, marriage status, and education levels. Participant’s physical and mental health, and their happiness or lack of with their relationship, were all considered risk factors for sex problems.

Participants were asking during the study some of their sexual problems they may have experienced. To help define participant’s sex problems, researchers defined several as a guide. They included lack of or lower sex drive, erection problems, vaginal dryness, problems with early orgasm or never reaching climax, pain during sex, lack of pleasure, and if they were worried about sexual performance. Each participant was asked how much the problems bothered them.

Urinary tract infections seem to be a key player in causing several of the problems both women and men experience with their sex lives, based on the study. Women seem to have more problems than men with sex, because of their tendency to have more urinary tract infections as well as STDs or sexually transmitted diseases. STD’s, lead to women being four times more likely to having sexual pains and three times as likely to have vaginal dryness. Men with STDs had five times the chances of having unpleasant side effects while having sex. Whether you are 18 and at your prime sexual peak or 80 and winding down, medication and illness can affect your desire to have sex, as well as your physical ability. Anxiety also seemed to be a key trouble maker for both groups.

Dr. Virginia Sadock, the director of the program for human sexuality at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City said, “It’s definitely whether you’re elderly or 'wellderly' that makes a difference” and “illness and medications make a difference in sex lives.”

Some people may think sex lives will eventually fizzle out, and they may. However, based on the new study, you may be physically and mentally able to enjoy your sex life well into your 80’s. There are some 80 year olds in better health than those at 60. Sex lives can be squed by ones physical and mental well being as well as factors such as weight, habits like smoking or drinking, health issues and medications that may hinder ones ability to enjoy sex. Edward Leumann, the lead author of the survey, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, stated “It’s not age per se; that when you get to 80 it’s all over with.”


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