Why Sex is Healthy at Every Age - Virtua Article

Why Sex is Healthy at Every Age

By Adaora Udoh, MD, OB/GYN—Virtua Obstetrics and Gynecology

Sexual health is an important part of a healthy life. A healthy sex life can:

  • Ease stress
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improve your immune system
  • Help you maintain a healthy relationship with that special someone

Today, medical advances make it easier and more enjoyable for adults of every age to reap the benefits of a healthy sex life. Unfortunately, women who suffer from sexual discomfort or a lack of libido may feel like their chances at a healthy sex life are over.

I work with women of all ages on issues related to sexual health and general well-being. My best recommendation: Talk about it! 

When women talk to me, their most common questions are about a decrease in desire, particularly compared to their partners. I always start with a complete history because there are a wide range of issues that can affect desire and arousal.

When issues are psychological, like stressors at home or work, a sex therapist or counselor can help.

There are also plenty of medical reasons to consider:

  • Are you on any medication?
  • Do you have conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure?
  • Have you had surgery, which may affect pelvic anatomy?

All of these can lead to a decrease in blood flow, which affects arousal. In some cases, women may be suffering from physical pain or discomfort from vaginal atrophy, a thinning of the tissues caused by a drop in hormones.

Here are 3 things that might give your sex life a boost: 

Communicate

Talking to someone is the easiest and also the hardest thing to do. If you have concerns, it’s important to ask questions during an annual exam or in a separate appointment. Remember, you have a right to information, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Lubricate

The solution to many sexual health problems doesn’t require a prescription. Your local drugstore can provide a wide range of lubricants, which provide necessary moisture and reduce pain.

Some lubricants even have stimulants, which increase arousal and sensitivity. You also can look for adult toys that help stimulate the genitalia and encourage arousal. If you don’t feel comfortable buying these at a store, there are online shops where you can discreetly order them.

Medicate

Issues aren’t always in your head. There can be legitimate medical reasons for decreased arousal, and you and your doctor can work together to find the best solution for you.

If you're suffering from a hormonal imbalance after menopause, hormone therapy can be useful. Your doctor may be able to recommend newer treatments like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Call 1-877-VWOMAN-7 for guidance on solutions that could work for you. 

Updated November 21, 2017

Personal Health Navigator

Women's Health Navigator

A Virtua for Women Health Navigator can help you schedule appointments and find the right services for the exact care you need. Please send us an email if you have any questions.

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