Many wonder whether the elderly are still sexually active.
Given their age, many health problems are associated with sexual disorders. These include dry vagina, erectile dysfunction, and even arthritis, that makes sex between them virtually impossible. However, this is not the case for all elderly couples.
What makes sex between elderly couples better?
Although sex may not be the same as when they were young, sex doesn’t necessarily become foreign to a couple as they age.
Quite the contrary – recent research from the University of Minnesota suggests that sex actually gets better with age.
In the study, researchers reviewed the data of about 3,000 couples ranging from 20 to 93 years of age. These couples were interviewed a few times during the research period, specifically in 1995, 2003, and 2013.
During the interview, the couples answered questions about their sexual lives and were asked to measure their level of sexual satisfaction during the last few days of their relationship.
The study compared the key characteristics of the sex life of young people versus those who were older. The study also included socio-demographics, as well as the mental and physical health of the participants.
The end result? The elderly have a more satisfying sexual life than their younger peers.
According to Mini Forbes, the research leader, the study proved that past experiences contributed to making sex better in later years.
Mini Forbes also revealed that problems arising from sexual dysfunction experienced by two-thirds of men 65 years and over was not a significant barrier. Regardless of the problem, many still felt satisfied with their sex life.
Of course, this is happy news for the elderly. With most family responsibilities settled and with nothing much to worry about now, maintaining a good sex life had a positive impact on health, specifically the heart health as well as mental health of the elderly.
How will your sexual life change in old age?
It is obvious that sex is not reserved merely for the young.
Men and women in their 50s or older, who plan their lives well, are usually at the peak of success i.e. financial independence as well as success in having achieved certain career goals.
Therefore, it is logical that an older couple would enjoy a better sex life as they don’t have to worry about making a living, or saving money for their kids’ education.
Another reason why sex is better despite older couples being more susceptible to diseases, is because the very act produces more antibodies, which means their immune system is improved because of the act of sex.
Endorphin hormone secretions and oxytocin levels can also reduce pain in the joints – the most common health problem suffered by the elderly.
Another reason why sex between an older couple is better is the more open communication they share after many years of being together.
A long marriage means older couples have learned to communicate better with each other compared to younger people, and are wiser and more tolerant of each other’s mistakes. Good communication is the key to any long-lasting relationship.
This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.