Sexual Side Effects of Aging For Men and Women
Sexual health is important even as we age. Find out what changes men and women can expect to see with their bodies as they get older!Request an Appointment
Usually, the sexual side effects of aging begin taking place for men in their early 40s and women in their late 40s and early 50s. While it’s less-than-desirable, it’s a perfectly normal part of getting older, and it’s even one that can be treated in more dire circumstances. Although sexual activity as an older adult is not the same as in your 20s and 30s, it does not have to be a poor experience. We find these adverse effects below to be more common – and manageable – than most patients realize.
What’s “Normal” When it Comes to Sexual Health For Older Men?
The loss of libido is caused by lowering testosterone levels. It is found that T levels reduce 1-2% each year as early as age 30. The best way to combat this is to improve your diet and physical activity levels, reduce alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, and develop better sleeping patterns.
While it is expected to lose some sexual desire, some men experience erectile dysfunction, which more drastically interferes with their sexual function. Not to mention, this condition can lower one’s quality of life and well-being.
Signs of male sexual dysfunction are what you’d expect; most patients report having a reduced sex drive, decreased sperm count, and, most of all, difficulty with erection/ejaculation. There is a prevalence of physical and psychological factors that contribute to this medical condition, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking, alcoholism, and substance abuse
- Sleeping pills, amphetamines, and other drugs that impact the central nervous system
Your Greenwood, IN primary care provider can help you find a treatment option for both erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels. If you’re worried about either condition, you should contact a healthcare specialist.
How Menopause and Sexual Health Change For Older Women
When it comes to sexual functioning and older women, “menopause” is what typically comes to mind. A woman is considered to have reached this stage once she has gone 12 months without a period. The beginning of menopause marks when one’s ovaries start making fewer reproductive hormones – estrogen and progesterone – which causes a decline in fertility. As menstruation cycles change, many women experience physical and psychological effects, including anxiety, depression, hypertension, irregular sleep patterns, hot flashes, and low sex drive. In addition, sexual intercourse often becomes uncomfortable due to a lack of elasticity and lubrication. Worst of all, the loss of estrogen puts women at a higher risk of several severe conditions such as low blood flow, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
It’s common to have irregularity in periods, vaginal dryness, chills/night sweats, and other symptoms leading up to menopause. While perimenopause, and menopause itself, are entirely normal and to-be-expected, it’s still recommended you seek help from a healthcare professional to discuss treatment options if your symptoms are severe or if you fall in an earlier-than-usual age group for these conditions. Menopause is different for everyone, but it may be worth exploring if bioidentical hormone replacement, menopausal hormone therapy, and vaginal estrogen are right for you. In addition, certain risk factors can cause menopause to be worse for some women than others, so it’s worth consulting your primary care physician for more information.
Supro Direct understands that sexual problems and the adverse effects of the aging process are not comfortable topics. But, they are worth being addressed to ensure you’re happy and healthy even as you experience some of these changes. It’s especially important to get in touch with a specialist if you suspect your condition may be worse than usual.