Sexual activity has its health benefits alone: decreasing risk of heart disease and cancer, decreasing anxiety, stress levels, and depression, and increasing connection with others. And these benefits aren’t just for the young, they are important for older adults as well.
Sex in your 50s may not be exactly what it was in your 20s, but it is still just as important! And with aging comes a whole host of barriers on the sexual health side. So how do you sort through the barriers of aging so you’re ready to jump in the sack? Check out these tips for a healthy sex life, later in life.
Understanding the needs and expectations of your partner, and communicating your own is key for a satisfying sex life. Set aside time to talk with one another about what you need and what makes it difficult for you to meet your needs.
Practice safer sex.
Even though the risk for pregnancy might be gone, the risk for STIs is still alive and well. If you’re having sex with a new partner, remember to bring a barrier method (e.g., male condom, female condom, or dental dam).
Understanding issues related to aging.
When both men and women age key hormones that relate to sex take a dive. Testosterone levels decrease in men making it harder to maintain or get an erection. Similarly, estrogen levels decrease in women making vaginal dryness an issue and some women may also find it difficult to become aroused. Luckily there are ways to work through erection and vaginal dryness issues.
Addressing medical issues and medications.
Illnesses affecting the cardiovascular system can be a concern when it comes to sex, and could possibly cause some issues. Work with your health care provider to determine what is safe for you and perhaps experiment with other sexual activities that can be less taxing on your heart. Also, be aware that some medications can impact libido. Check with your provider to see if there are any alternative options to address this symptom.