Many people want and need to be close to others as they grow older. For some, this includes the desire to continue an active, satisfying sex life. With aging, that may mean adapting sexual activity to accommodate physical, health, and other changes. There are many different ways to have sex and be intimate—alone or with a partner. The expression of your sexuality could include many types of touch or stimulation. Some adults may choose not to engage in sexual activity, and that's also normal. Normal aging brings physical changes in both men and women. These changes sometimes affect the ability to have and enjoy sex. A woman may notice changes in her vagina. As a woman ages, her vagina can shorten and narrow.
Although sexuality remains an important component of emotional and physical intimacy that most men and women desire to experience throughout their lives, sexual dysfunction in women is a problem that is not well studied. Increasing recognition of this common problem and future research in this field may alter perceptions about sexuality, dismiss taboo and incorrect thoughts on sexual dysfunction, and spark better management for patients, allowing them to live more enjoyable lives. This need is especially acute for physicians who will increasingly encounter patients trying to maintain a high quality of life as their bodies and life circumstances change, and as advances in nutrition, health maintenance, and technology allow many to extend the time midlife activities are maintained. One quality-of-life issue affected by these changes, for both men and women, is sexuality. Although studies agree that the majority of women consider sexuality a very important determinant of quality of life, the literature on the subject of sexual function in elderly women is not extensive. Although sexuality remains an important component of emotional and physical intimacy that most men and women desire to experience throughout their lives, it is unfortunately a topic many health care professionals have difficulty raising with their patients.
By Tracey Cox for MailOnline. In the past, scientists stuck to the evolutionary theory that men prefer younger women who are likely to bear them more children. Not so.
OHSU is open and providing safe care — in person and through virtual visits. Please call your clinic or see MyChart for details. As a reproductive psychiatrist and certified sexual health therapist, Dr. Cirino helps women who are struggling with emotional or mental health barriers to a healthy sex life. Studies have shown that sex is extremely beneficial to our health. Sex activates a variety of neurotransmitters that impact not only our brains but several other organs in our bodies. Women, of course, have a variety of different lifestyles, situations, and preferences when it comes to sex. Fortunately, all women can experience benefits of sex, no matter their situation.