Sexuality in Later Life

that won’t cause sexual problems.

Help is available

There are several things you can do on your own to keep an active sexual life. Remember that sex does not have to include intercourse. Make your partner a high priority. Pay attention to his or her needs and wants. Take time to understand the changes you both are facing. Try different positions and new times, like having sex in the morning when you both may have more energy. Don’t hurry-you or your partner may need to spend more time touching to become fully aroused. Masturbation is a sexual activity that some older people, especially unmarried, widowed, or divorced people and those whose partners are ill or away, may find satisfying.

If you do seem to have a problem that affects your sex life, talk to your doctor. The most common problem that affects women is painful intercourse. For most women, lubrication can be provided with creams orjellies. If the problem is estrogen deficiency, this can be supplied with topical estrogen creams or oral estrogens if there are no contraindications such as estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

If a man complains of a loss of libido, the problem may be related to testosterone deficiency that can be replaced with injections, topical jells or the insertion of testosterone pellets. If impotence is the problem, it can often be treated with oral medications such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. If the medications are not successful then injections, vacuum devices, or surgical implants can be performed.

Bottom line: Just because a man or women enters their senior years does not mean that sexual intimacy has to cease. Older men and women can and do enjoy intimacy.

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