Today, the average lifespan is reported to be the longest it has ever been in history! As a result of better senior health in the modern age, older adults are increasingly staying or becoming sexually active in their golden years. Modern medicine, online dating, and a relatively open attitude toward sexuality has also helped encourage modern seniors to maintain sexual regularity. While sex is enjoyable at any age, it is definitely different as one’s body changes with age. Older adults are also more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than younger adults if they have compromised immune systems. Nonetheless, there are always proper precautions everyone should take to make sex safe.
Do a Body Background Check
Have a conversation with your partner about their STI history, STI test results, history of surgery, and any other medical complications. Before having sex, get to know your partner’s body for any sores, restricitons, or abnormailities.
The best way to protect yourself and your partner is by getting tested for STIs. Because most STIs don’t have obvious symptoms, anyone can have an STI without even knowing it and be a carrier. In other cases, symptoms like tiredness can falsely be assumed to be an STI when it could just be a side effect of other medications or conditions. It is quite easy and simple to get checked! Anyone can get tested by your doctor through blood tests, urine samples, or saliva swabs.
Use protection and lubrication
While one is much less likely to become pregnant after age 50, condoms are still important to prevent any infections from transmitting. Water-based lubricants can be especially necessary in old age as menopausal changes in women can lead to less lubrication and thinning of tissues making them more susceptible to sores and infections.
Talk to your healthcare provider
Testing someone who doesn’t have symptoms is called screening. Most of the time, STI screening is not a routine part of health care, but there are exceptions for some individuals including anyone born between 1945 and 1965- a prevalent time of risk for Hepatitis C.
The need for intimacy is ageless. Intercourse can be a powerful physical and emotional experience which can improve mood and health. Sex is also not only for the young as studies now confirm. Regardless of age, anyone of any gender can enjoy sex for as long as they wish. While sex at 70 may not be the same as sex at 20, in some ways it can be even better.
WellPath Partners is your senior resource referral guide. Follow us on ALL social media platforms and join us weekly for more content and public health discussions.
By Prithvi Chauhan