Although sexuality remains an important component of emotional and physical intimacy that most men and women desire to experience throughout their lives, sexual dysfunction in women is a problem that is not well studied. Increasing recognition of this common problem and future research in this field may alter perceptions about sexuality, dismiss taboo and incorrect thoughts on sexual dysfunction, and spark better management for patients, allowing them to live more enjoyable lives. This need is especially acute for physicians who will increasingly encounter patients trying to maintain a high quality of life as their bodies and life circumstances change, and as advances in nutrition, health maintenance, and technology allow many to extend the time midlife activities are maintained. One quality-of-life issue affected by these changes, for both men and women, is sexuality.
Why are Older Women Disappointed With their Sex Lives?
Sex and the older woman - Harvard Health
Women over age 50 are having sex — and developing STIs — at a higher rate than commonly believed. The notion that women lose interest in sexual activity after menopause has collapsed under scientific scrutiny. Of those who were dissatisfied, more than half said they would prefer having sex more often. Many smaller studies corroborate the WHI results. All in all, it's become clear that older women are more sexually active than is commonly believed. These findings probably come as little surprise to older women themselves.
Sexual Function in Elderly Women: A Review of Current Literature
Recent research suggests that the vast majority of post-menopausal women are having less frequent, and less enjoyable, sex. The study, conducted through Brighton and Sussex medical schools , questioned over four thousand women aged fifty and over. Of those included in the study, sixty five percent had partners, yet under twenty percent of the women overall were sexually active. In those women who were sexually active, only three percent less than two percent overall referred to pleasurable and positive sexual experiences. The study identifies four main reasons that older women might find a consistent and enjoyable sex life inaccessible.
The most important of these are the availability of a sexually active partner and presence of concurrent illnesses. Some of the age-related changes in physiological indicators of sexual function, such as vaginal blood flow, are the result of estrogen deficiency, and as such are essentially reversible. Despite the inherent limitations of many studies in female sexuality, a significant degree of objective measurements has been reported in the literature.