Everyone does it. You may not think about it, but old people do that too. And for them sex is an extremely important part of a healthy life. However, due to the sensitive nature of this subject, not many health professionals and scientists are willing to look into it. Now scientists from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the University of Glasgow and UCL identified key factors for sexual satisfaction between older people.
Researchers looked into a variety of factors, including health, lifestyle and relationship quality to determine how they affect the intimate life of older people. Scientists analysed a tonne of data and interviewed older men and women to get first-hand knowledge of the matter in question. In total, study involved around 3500 people, aged from 55 to 74 years old. Researchers found that only 62 % of men and 54 % of women were sexually active and 42 % of them were satisfied with their sex lives.
Scientists found that health was a very important factor in the sex life of older people. Deteriorating health reduced the frequency of sexual activity, but made men experiment with new ways of having sex, which actually improved the situation. In couples communication and contentment with the relationship significantly impacted satisfaction with one’s sex life. Scientists also found that while many people experienced problems in their intimate life, they rarely sought help. Many of them accepted it as a part of getting old. This may be due to the public perception that older people are no even having sex and embarrassment that stems from it. But it could also be because older people tend to be more conservative and keep their private life private. Doctors are also not particularly active in helping older people solve their sex-related problems.
And what could doctors do? Researchers say that pharmacological approaches, such as taking Viagra, are not always helpful. Consultations and information sometimes may be more effective. Kirstin Mitchell, co-author of the study, said: “Not being in good health can influence mood, mobility and whether a person has a partner, which in turn impact on sexual activity. Medication taken for health conditions often compounds the problem”.
You don’t have to think about old people having sex. However, you have to recognize that one day you will be old as well. This might be your problem too and finding the best solution now is of your best interest as well. This is why general practitioners should find ways to encourage older fold of telling about sex-related issues.
Source: University of Glasgow