Overcoming Sexual Problems as We Age

A senior couple in love.
Some senior women enjoy sex as they age, however, some women may experience sexual problems as a result of physical changes such as menopause or hysterectomy.
Senior men may experience sexual issues such as impotence (erectile dysfunction or ED), which may be caused by heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or medications used to treat these conditions.
Illness, disability, or the drugs you take to treat a health problem can affect your ability to have and enjoy sex.
Joint pain due to arthritis can cause sexual problems as we age.
Chronic pain can cause sexual problems as we age.
Diabetes can be a cause of impotence (erectile dysfunction or ED) in men and sexual dysfunction in women.
The effects of heart disease can cause sexual problems as we age.
Incontinence can cause sexual problems as we age.
A senior woman recovers from a stroke with physical therapy.
Doctors perform surgery in an operating room.
Schematic drawing shows 3 types of hysterectomy; total, subtotal, and radical.
A diagram shows different types of mastectomy procedures.
An illustration of the prostate gland.
Drugs and alcohol can cause sexual problems as we age.
Safe sex options to avoid pregnancy include the diaphragm, spermicide gel, NuvaRing®, and condoms.
Age does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Anyone who is sexually active is also at risk for being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
A worried mature man looks at a sad mature woman.
Seniors dancing at a party.
A senior man discusses treatment options with his doctor.
A happy senior couple in bed.

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Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, Chief Medical Editor on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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