A US survey has found that 40% of those aged between 65 and 80 report being sexually active, with more than half of those who have a partner saying they still engage in steamy moments.
The authors say the report shows that while sex is important for many older adults, the topic is rarely discussed with either partners or healthcare professionals.
“Some of these conversations are not happening,” said Dr Erica Solway from the University of Michigan, who was involved in the research.
Solway said the lack of discussion was important, not least because such conversations could help increase testing and awareness of sexually transmitted infections, which are soaring among older adults.
What’s more, 18% of men and 3% of women in the 65-80 age group reported taking medications or supplements to improve their sexual function.
“It is possible that there could be interactions with other medications that they are taking,” said Solway.
And there might be other benefits from talking to doctors: recent research has found that while sex in older age appeared to protect women from cardiovascular problems, the opposite was true for men.
Lesley Carter of Age UK said the report chimed with findings from England, and that it was time to get rid of stereotypes and misconceptions about sex in older age.
She added that it was important medical professionals broached the topic with patients: “We know as younger people if you don’t get [sex] enough then you are quite miserable, but that is the same thing in older people. I think we as a society have to agree that older people have a right to good sexual health too.” Read the full post at The Guardian.