Sexual health is important no matter your age. During menopause, sex may feel uncomfortable. You may not feel as easily aroused, or your vaginal dryness can cause sex to feel uncomfortable, or even painful. Sleeping issues, bladder control problems, depression, and stress can all contribute to a lower desire for sex. There are ways to enjoy sex through your seasoned years!
Protection and Lubricants
Protection during sex was never just about preventing pregnancy. Using protection can also prevent the spread of STIs, such as HIV. But did you know protection can be fun? Condoms come in all kinds of materials, sizes, and textures to increase pleasure between you and your partner. Lubricants are also helpful for having sex feel more fun and pleasurable. Careful consideration should be taken when deciding which kind of lube is best for you.
STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, are bacteria or viruses that cause disease and that are spread through sexual contacts, such as sex. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HPV, and HIV. The rate of STIs is growing among seasoned women, with 17% of new STIs being reported among women 50 years old and older. There are several factors that could be contributing to this increase: the use of medications and lubricants to make sex more enjoyable, lack of knowledge about STIs, and not using safe sex practices.
The rate of HIV infection is growing the fastest among individuals 50 years of age and older. By the end of 2018, roughly 1.2 million people in the US were living with HIV. Nearly 1 in 7 of those 1.2 million people did not know they were infected. People living with HIV can still live happy and healthy lives with the help of antiretroviral therapies.