Improve Your Sex Life After 40
|Dr. Vipul Sharma|
As we age, the hope for a good sex life doesn't have to change as our bodies naturally transform. But for older people having sex, challenges often arise for both men and women related to medical problems, surgeries, and changes in body appearance both in oneself and one's partner. Unfortunately, spicing up our sex lives sometimes takes a back seat to facing the new reality of our aging bodies. But it's never too late to regain the vigor and excitement of past sexual pleasure. Learn to overcome worrisome health obstacles for a gratifying and enjoyable sex life, no matter your age.
#Sexual Changes in Women
As women age they may notice sexual changes as well. Some of those changes are welcome, and others not so much.
#Sex Challenges for Women as They Age
An older woman may also notice unwanted sexual changes as well. Her appearance may change with the arrival of wrinkles or gray hair, making her feel less attractive as she ages. That can impact her sexual desire. In addition, physical changes can occur. As women age, hormones decrease, causing the vaginal wall to become thinner, drier, and more irritated. This can make sex unpleasantly painful. Friction from intercourse may cause micro-tears in the vaginal wall, which can cause pain and bleeding. Prescription medications and over-the-counter lubricants can help. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern for you.
#Sex Benefits for Women as They Age
Some sexual changes that come with aging can be positive for women. Older women have often learned what excites them, and may be more inclined to share that with their partners than a woman who is younger and less experienced. For an older woman, her sexual experiences can also transform into body confidence and sexual prowess. In addition, the worry of an unwanted pregnancy disappears after menopause or following a hysterectomy. In this way, many older women enjoy sex more freely.
#Sexual Changes in Men
Men will also start to notice changes in their bodies with age.
#Sex Challenges for Men as They Age
Along with sex benefits, older men may find aspects of sexuality more challenging than they used to. It may take longer to get an erection, and erections may not be as large or firm as they used to be. Men may need more foreplay for an erection to occur. They may produce less semen. After ejaculation, loss of erection may happen more rapidly, or it can take longer to get another erection.
#Erectile dysfunction (ED), or the loss of ability to get or maintain an erection, occurs in up to 65% of men over age 65. Men who have heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes may find that these conditions contribute to impotence, either because of the health problems themselves or the medications used to treat them.
#Sex Benefits for Men as They Age
Age comes with experience, and an experienced older man is often more attuned to the importance of foreplay in turning on their partners. Older men are more likely to know that slowing down and paying attention to a partner's pleasure is a crucial part of good sex. Older men may also last longer and take longer to orgasm as an adjustment to their bodies' slower arousal period.
# Arthritis and Your Sex Life
Arthritis causes joint pain that can make sexual intimacy uncomfortable. Exercise, rest, warm baths, and experimenting with different positions may alleviate this pain. If pain is severe, talk to your doctor as medications may help, or joint replacement surgery may be needed.
# Sex Positions for Arthritis Sufferers :
For men with back pain, a side-by-side sex position takes pressure off the back and other joints. In this position, both partners lie facing one another with their legs interlaced. This position is also good for people who have recently had hip replacement surgery, particularly if that person's leg is on top.
For a woman with arthritis in the hips or knees, she may be more comfortable lying at the edge of the bed with her partner either standing or kneeling in front of her.
If a man has arthritic knees, he may experience less painful sex if he lies down while his partner straddles him on top.
If both partners have painful, arthritic hips, they may want to have the woman lie on the bottom with pillows propping up her bent knees. The man lies between her legs and himself in a “push-up” position with bent knees and straight arms.
# Safe Sex With Diabetes
In men, diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction (ED, also called impotence). Diabetes can also cause retrograde ejaculation, causing semen to travel backward into a man's bladder instead of out of the penis. Medical treatment can help.
In women, diabetes can cause sexual problems including vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, decreased libido, and lack of sexual arousal and orgasm. Over-the-counter lubricants can sometimes help.
Men and women with diabetes should talk to their doctor if they experience any sexual symptoms due to their illness, as there are medications that may be helpful.
#Sexual Health: Incontinence
Bladder dysfunction in men and women can affect one's sex life. Common problems include overactive bladder, poor control of sphincter muscles, urine retention problems, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Sexual activity can cause pressure on the bladder, which may cause incontinence (leakage of urine), a problem that makes many avoid sex. These conditions can usually be treated.
#Sex After Surgery
Surgery may cause stress and pain in the short term. However, most people can resume their normal sex life after surgery—even after genital surgery. Talk to your doctor about when you can resume sexual activity following surgery.
#Sex, Medication, and Alcohol
A common cause of sexual problems can also be side effects of medications such as blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, diabetes drugs, and ulcer drugs. Other drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED, or impotence) or cause difficulty ejaculating in men, and some drugs can cause loss of sexual desire in women. Talk to your doctor if you experience side effects from medications you are taking. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different drug.
* Alcohol in excess can cause erectile problems in men and delayed orgasm in women.
#How Do Emotions Impact Good Sex?
Sexuality is often tied into both our physical and psychological well-being. Men may fear that erectile dysfunction (ED) will be a problem, and that worry in itself can trigger episodes of impotence. Women may become concerned their looks make them less desirable to their partner. That can affect her enjoyment of sex. In addition to normal daily stressors, older people may be concerned about aging, illness, retirement, and other life changes, which can affect performance sexually. Help is available. Talk with a doctor or counselor about your concerns.
#Safe Sex and STDs
Sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) are possible at any age. While young people are more likely to become infected, older people having sex are vulnerable to STDs. Types of STDs include:
Pubic Lice (Crabs)
Genital Warts (HPV: Human Papillomavirus)
Hepatitis B and C
HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
LVG (Lymphogranuloma Venereum)
Older women are more likely than younger women to have been infected with Trichomonas, a parasite spread during sexual intercourse.
#Talk to Your Doctor About Sex
If your sex life is not what it used to be, talk to your doctor. Depending on the cause, there may be a treatment. For older women, the most common problem is dyspareunia, which is painful intercourse caused by a number of different conditions including poor vaginal lubrication (vaginal dryness). Vaginal dryness may be treated with over-the-counter lubricants or estrogen. For men, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common concern and there are a number of prescription medications that can help. Maintain open communication with your doctor and let him or her know your concerns.
#Having a Better Sex Life as You Get Older
It's possible to have a healthy, active, great sex life as you get older. A key component of that is to maintain a healthy, active body. Exercise, reduce stress, eat a balanced and nutritious diet, drink lots of water and juice, and don't smoke or drink. See your doctor for checkups regularly. If you care for your body, you can maintain a healthy sex life as you age.
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