(MayoClinic.com) Senior sex isn't the same as it was in your 20s — but it can still be satisfying. Contrary to common myths about sexuality and older adults, sexual interest is not just for the young. Many seniors continue to enjoy their sexuality into their 80s and beyond. A healthy sex life is not only fulfilling, but it's also good for other aspects of your life, including your physical health and self-esteem.
As men age, testosterone levels decline and changes in sexual function are common. These physiological changes can include:
You may feel some anxiety about these changes, but remember they don't have to end your enjoyment of sex. Adapting to your changing body can help you maintain a healthy and satisfying sex life. For example, you may need to adjust your sexual routine to include more stimulation to become aroused.Senior sex and health problems
Your health also can have a big impact on your sex life and sexual performance. If you or your partner is in poor health or has a chronic health condition, such as heart disease or arthritis, sex and intimacy become more challenging. Certain surgeries and many medications, such as blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants and acid-blocking drugs, can affect sexual function.
But don't give up. You and your partner can experiment with ways to adapt to your limitations. For example, if you're worried about having sex after a heart attack, talk with your doctor about your concerns. If arthritis pain is a problem, try different sexual positions or try using heat to alleviate joint pain before or after sexual activity. Stay positive and focus on ways of being sexual and intimate that work for you and your partner.Senior sex and emotional issues
At any age, emotional issues can affect your sexuality. Many older couples report greater satisfaction with their sex life because they have fewer distractions, more time and privacy, and no worries about pregnancy. On the other hand, some older adults feel stressed by health problems, financial concerns and other lifestyle changes. Depression can decrease your desire for and interest in sex. If you feel you might be depressed, talk to your doctor or a counselor.Senior sex tips
Sex may not be the same for you or your partner as it was when you both were younger. But sex and intimacy can continue to be a rewarding part of your life. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy and enjoyable sex life:
And a final piece of advice for maintaining a healthy sex life: Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy, stay active, don't drink too much alcohol, and don't smoke or use illegal drugs. And be sure to see your doctor regularly, especially if you have any chronic health conditions or take prescription medications.
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