If you are like most senior citizens, having intimate relations has become a challenge. As many of you may have already experienced, coupling in your sixties, seventies, or eighties is nothing like the intimate relations you experienced when you were in your twenties. For one thing, body functions response times may not be what they use to be. This can potentially make some aging adults feel like lesser people, which generally leads to depression and oftentimes more medications that may have a negative impact on your intimacy drive. This is especially true in older men.
When prescribed any new medications, be sure to talk to your doctor about the side effects. It is okay to ask your healthcare physician if decreased sex drive is a complication associated with taking a certain medication. If it is, then talk with your doctor about trying another medication that will not affect your drive or have them prescribe something to counteract the side effect.
Bottom line: There are plenty of options out there. Do not be stuck in a rut just because you are too embarrassed to ask. And below, you'll find lots of helpful tips and suggestions to help.
Intimacy Tips, Props, and Techniques for Seniors
Maintaining a happy sex life is one way to stay healthy and fit. Even if you are 80. Realizing some of the most basic essentials and limitations is all you have to do to be free and safe with your sexual partner.
- Scrutinize Your Medications for Side Effects. A serious factor to consider when taking any medication is that medications taken to treat depression and other illnesses associated with aging are known to cause a decrease in sex drive. It is important to maintain a good outlook on life while paying close attention to what your body is telling you.
- Communicate Needs and Desires. Another important thing for aging seniors to remember is to communicate freely with their sex partners. Many mature adults today grew up in an era where it was taboo to openly discuss sex. Especially if the sex talk was focused around the needs, desires, or wants of the individual. Folks, if you had not noticed, this is the twenty-first century and good communication between partners is a vital part of the process to maintain a healthy sex life.
- Accommodate Physical Changes. It is also important to realize that in aging adults, sexual needs differ greatly between males and females. Women, for example, might suffer from vaginal dryness. Having sex under these conditions can be quite painful and irritating. Understanding that this is often associated with the aging process, women no longer have to suffer the plagues of vaginal dryness. Most over-the-counter lubes make it possible for mature women to enjoy their newfound sexual freedom.
- Consider Erectile Dysfunction: For men, the problems are usually centered around the function (or lack thereof) of their sexual organs. It is a scientific fact that it takes an elderly man up to three times longer to develop an erection than a man half his age. Another aspect of the male anatomy is the fact that aging men do not produce as much semen as younger males do, making it even harder for an aging man to reach climax. Understanding some of the most common details about the aging process just might be the missing clue you have been looking for. Just because you are getting older does not mean you should stop living your life.
- Accommodate Arthritis: If you are limited by arthritis or pain, make sure to give yourselves plenty of extra time and use some of your God-given ingenuity and creativity to make things go smoother and preferably pain-free.
- Get Extra Support: Using extra padded pillows to help support your hips, elbows, or knees, is one such way of being creative when it comes to dealing with your physical limitations. Understanding that your body is more fragile now is smart on your part.
- Redefine "Sex": Creative measures to aid you in this endeavor might even call for you and your partner to develop an ever-expanding definition of sex itself. Whatever the case may be, just remember, life doesn't have to pass you by because you're turning 60!
Do Men Experience Menopause?
Since I am in the medical field, I often get asked the question if men go through a menopausal type of hormonal cycle, and the answer is no.
- Menopause in women is characterized by certain changes in their hormonal production of estrogen and progesterone. Male testicles do not lose the ability to make hormones or sperm, but females do lose their ability to produce certain hormones as they age.
- "Menopause" is a term used to describe that time in a woman's life when she stops menstruating. The medical prefix term meno means menses, a term used to describe menstrual blood.
- If a man is fit and healthy, he should be able to make sperm well into his 80s.
Intimacy Tips for Males 45 and Older
What does happen to males over the age of 45:
- Subtle changes in the function of the testes do occur in men aged 45 to 50, then again after the age of 70.
- Most men experience normal hormone production well into their later years, but there are men who can experience declining hormone production at an earlier age. This hormone reduction can be caused by illness (like diabetes). However, many causes of waning testicular function still remain a mystery.
- Some signs and symptoms of decreased testosterone production are chronic fatigue, weakness, low sex drive, and depression.
What Are the Treatment Options for Low Testosterone?
If testosterone levels are low, hormone replacement therapy may help relieve symptoms. However, increasing levels of testosterone production in men over the age of 45 also increases their risk of prostate cancer and atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). A man should receive a complete physical examination by his physician if suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Upon the results of laboratory tests, you and your physician should discuss starting hormone replacement therapy. How many middle-aged men will benefit from such therapy remains an open question.
The Threat of Prostate Cancer in Aging African-American Males
Currently, the US Center for Disease Control is studying the possible reasons why African-American males are at a higher risk for prostate cancer. In 1998, the CDC conducted a study concerning 1/100,000 males over the age of 45 and prostate cancer death rates by ethnicity. The discovery was alarming:
- In the survey, out of every 100,000 males, 70.7 men died as a result of prostate cancer.
- For every African-American diagnosed, 159.7 died as a result of prostate cancer
- 47.6 Hispanic males died of prostate cancer.
- 37.2 American Indian/Alaska Native died of prostate cancer.
- 26.4 died Asian/Pacific Islanders died of prostate cancer.
Currently, the CDC scientists do not have concrete evidence as to why prostate cancer is more prevalent in aging African-American men. The possible reasons under review include African-American culture, environment, and the complete biological make-up of the disease in African-American males.
- What the CDC discovered was that out of the ten leading causes of cancer death in African-American males, prostate cancer is second to only to lung cancer.
- It is the fourth-leading cause of death in African-American men over the age of 45.
- The number-one leading cause of death in African-American men under the age of 45 was gunfire.
- In reference to disease, heart disease kills thirty-one percent of males over the age of 45.
- The lifetime risk of prostate cancer in African-American men is over 19% or basically 1 in 5.
More Information About Intimacy for Older Adults
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.