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Anti-Aging: Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life After Menopause

By HERWriter
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Menopause related image Photo: Getty Images

Let's face it. Sexual relationships change with age. But openness with your partner and willingness to experiment can bring significant satisfaction for all concerned.

Menopause can cause vaginal dryness for some women due to a decrease in estrogen production. And some women may feel some ambivalence about sex because of possible weight gain that can be associated with menopause.

On the flip-side, after menopause the concerns about possible pregnancy are no longer an issue and many women find this new freedom to be quite liberating in the bedroom.

Men of this age may not be having erections like they used to. Erections don't happen as quickly, may not last as long, and may not be as firm.

Some men will struggle with impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction (ED). Testosterone levels begin to drop after the late teens. For many men, their sexual response has changed significantly by age 60 or so.

Drugs for ED are an option. Another option is to learn new ways of being with your partner.

Intercourse may have been the centerpiece of the sexual relationship in the past. It may now become one of several types of sexual expression between partners. Partners in this situation can still give and receive emotional and sexual pleasure to each other.

Janice Swanson, doctor of psychology, licensed psychologist and sex therapist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., advocates that you and your partner talk about any difficulties, and talk about your feelings. She recommends that you set time aside to explore your sensuality and sexuality together.

Health issues can be a problem as people age.

Narrowing or hardening of the arteries restrict blood flow, which can hamper orgasms and hinder erections. If you or your partner has had a heart attack or have other heart problems, you may be afraid that sex may be dangerous. Check with your doctor. Sexual activity is usually safe in these circumstances.

If either you or your partner has had a stroke, weakness or paralysis may be an issue. Arthritis pain is another health challenge. Experimenting with different sexual positions may be of benefit.

Research from the University of Chicago indicated that good sex is worth working for as it can improve health and well-being. And people in good health were 1.5 to 1.8 times more likely to be interested in sex than people whose health was poor. This research was published online in the British Medical Journal.

Patricia Goodson, a professor of health at Texas A&M University, said that the study was "refreshing because it offers a health enhancing, health promoting perspective" on sexuality after 55 years of age.


Age Page: Sexuality in Later Life

Extend Your Sex Life Through Fitness


Sexual health and aging: Keep the passion alive


Aging: What to expect as you get older


Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

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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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