Seniors and Sexual Health: Why Sex is the Best Remedy

Nurse Next Door

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We rarely hear senior sexual health discussed openly in everyday conversation or in the media. Why is it that this important topic seems to become more taboo and less talked about as we age?

Experts agree that remaining mute on the subject matter leads to the general misconception that seniors lose interest in sex. But this is far from the truth and quite the opposite.

While it’s true that the frequency and flexibility to perform sexually will inevitably decline with age, research tells us that the majority of men and women between the ages of 50 and 80 are still happily and enthusiastically continuing sexually active lifestyles. Although individual libidos vary, the majority of us will lead healthy sex lives well into our senior years leading to multiple benefits in our health and well being.

The need for intimacy is timeless and this includes more than just sex. A physical touch, hug or hand hold, can provide many positive elements to one’s health and relationships. Studies show that you can enjoy sex and variations of sexual activity for as long as you wish. We should look forward to a satisfying sex life long after middle age.

In addition to providing healthy benefits, sexual activity gets better as we age. As adults in later life, we typically have a higher level of self-confidence and self-assuredness. We’ve reached a point where our children are grown and life has mellowed with fewer distractions plus more free time. A positive attitude and open mind about our sex lives can lead to a renewed positive body image and sense of self which will go a long way in the bedroom.

According to The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada 1 below are just some of the many benefits that accompany sexual activity as we age:

  • Sex burns fat and boosts your immune system;
  • Sex causes the brain to release endorphins – the body’s natural pain relievers;
  • Sex relieves stress and makes you feel good;
  • Sexually active people have higher levels of naturally produced sex hormones – in other words use it or lose it!;
  • If you keep sexually active throughout your life, the physical changes that come with aging may be less pronounced and sexuality is often less affected;
  • There is more to sex than penetration. There are many ways to be physically intimate, and they all contribute to your health and well-being;
  • Having sex takes up about as much energy as walking up two flights of stairs so sex is rarely a health-risk. If you do have any health-related concerns, consult your physician or healthcare professional; and,
  • Being active contributes to improved physical and emotional health. Just remember, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) know no age boundary; so if you are sexually active, always practice safe sex.

Sex is an antidote to aging, further reason to keep your mojo going!

  • Minimizes risk of incontinence;
  • Helps you sleep by easing the body and lulling the mind and spirit;
  • Lowers the risk of prostate cancer;
  • Decreases blood pressure by opening and relaxation of the blood vessels;
  • Releases human growth hormones which along with the discharge of some estrogen and testosterone are key factors in keeping your skin elastic, reducing wrinkles, firming muscles, shining up the skin and making your hair softer; and,
  • Diminishes atrophy or shrinkage of the prostate and vagina and other muscles and ligaments in the nether region.

There is also an emotional and spiritual benefit. Sex provides our brain with endorphins and oxytocin leading to an overall improvement in our daily mood, attitude and life outlook.

Convinced yet?

Sex may not be the same as it was in your twenties, but in many ways it can become even more fulfilling and satisfying as we age. Remember to celebrate your body and be confident with you are. It will make those steamy nights even more fun and lead to many years of happier aging.

Visit Nurse Next Door’s Caring Journal for more lifestyle blogs.



1 https://sogc.org/

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