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Sex and Aging

By Stacy Lloyd HERWriter
 
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aging and how it can affect sex
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Normal aging brings physical changes in both men and women, according to WebMD. Sometimes it may also affect one's ability to have and enjoy sex.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) reported that as a woman ages, her vagina can shorten and narrow. The vaginal walls can become thinner and stiffer.

Most women have less vaginal lubrication. These changes can affect sexual function and/or pleasure.

These changes don’t mean women can't enjoy sex. NIA said that doctors can suggest over-the-counter vaginal lubricants and moisturizers or prescribe vaginal estrogen.

Most men notice a difference in their sexual response by age 60 to 65, said Mayo Clinic. It may take longer for the penis to become erect, and erections may not be as firm.

It may also take longer to achieve full arousal and to orgasm and ejaculate. Erectile dysfunction also becomes more common.

AARP.com wrote that prescription drugs can make the penis harder and make sex last longer. In addition, there are other options including implants, pumps and shots.

Conditions that affect one’s general health and well-being may also affect sexual health, cautioned Mayo Clinic. Illnesses that involve the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal problems, depression or anxiety can pose challenges to being sexually active.

Other conditions that may affect sexual activity include arthritis, chronic pain, incontinence and stroke.

The good news is that there is usually treatment.

Certain medications can inhibit sexual response and desire and your body's ability to become aroused or have an orgasm, said Mayo Clinic. If you're experiencing sexual side effects from a medication, consult a doctor. It may be possible to switch medications to one with fewer sexual side effects.

Having safe sex is important at any age. NIA wrote that older people who are sexually active may be at risk for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, genital herpes, hepatitis B, genital warts and trichomoniasis.

WebMD warned that almost any sexually active person is also at risk for being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Add a Comment1 Comments

adamslee

This article provides a non-technical overview of the role that sex hormones play in aging. The title led me to think that the post would address the entire field of aging; however, it mostly focuses on the relation of sex hormones to aging. click here to see the http://menshealthsmagazine.blogspot.com

March 21, 2013 - 4:44am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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