When you visit your doctor, you probably discuss your cholesterol, blood pressure, and your sugar levels and weight, but do you mention your sex life? If you don’t, then you are part of the 83 percent of adults who don’t discuss sex with their doctors – but you should.
Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, seniors are still actively having sex, and enjoying it too. In fact, survey results show that 40 percent of those aged 64 to 80 are still enjoying an active sex life and nearly two-third of adults say they are still interested in sex. More than half of survey respondents stated that sex is an important part of their life.
And yet, even though so many older adults are having sex, not many of them are discussing it with their doctors – only a mere 17 percent.
Dr. Sharon Bober explained, “Often doctors don’t bring up sexual health because they assume that if the patient doesn’t mention it, then sex must not be an issue. On the other hand, men often assume that if their doctor doesn’t ask about sexual function, then it is not a topic that would be acceptable to discuss. This kind of stalemate creates a missed opportunity to address common and often distressing problems before they worsen.”
Like other areas of your health, sexual health changes as the years go on, so your doctor should be made aware of all changes in your life, including sex.
“Sexual function in midlife and beyond does not stay the same as in your 30s and 40s. For instance, 50 percent of men older than age 50 experience some degree of erectile dysfunction, and it’s common for men to experience problems with arousal, energy, and stamina,” continued Dr. Bober.
Even if your doctor doesn’t begin the conversation, you shouldn’t feel shy or embarrassed to. It is your health after all, and you have a right to get answers regarding your health. You may want to bring up any changes or things that may be bothering you.
Doctor’s will want to know about sexual changes, as they could be related to an underlying medical condition such as a cardiovascular condition.
Not only will discussing sex with your doctor help improve your sex life, but it can help to improve your overall health, too, as your doctor may be able to uncover any other issues that you may have.
The next time you see your doctor, don’t shy away from the sex questions, regardless of how big or small they are.
- Frequent sex in seniors found to promote cognitive ability
- The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of sex as we get older