Keep your sex life alive and well with aging 

Keep your sex life alive and well with aging 

The desire to continue an active, satisfying sex life is perfectly normal and natural as we age.  The feelings of closeness and love are still there and become even more important as the years go by. 

With aging comes changes and that includes your sex life.  Growing older does not have to mean an end to your sexuality and enjoying the desire to have a fulfilling sex life.  Many older couples can and do have a pleasing and pleasurable sexual relationship.

But aging can bring about physical or mental changes not present years ago that can disrupt your plans of keeping sexually active in the elderly years.  Recognizing the difference between normal changes from aging and changes due to a chronic disease and then taking steps to make modifications, can keep the sexual fire stoked within from going out completely.

Normal changes

Both men and women will have normal bodily changes as the decades go by.  Men can experience impotence or erectile dysfunction where he loses his ability to achieve or maintain an erection.  Another normal change for men is sometimes the erection he does achieve will not be as firm or large like it once was. 

Women may notice several changes starting around the time of perimenopause involving the vagina.  Changes in the vagina can include less lubrication, the vaginal walls becoming thinner and more narrow all making sex more uncomfortable leading to less desire for it. 

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Anytime a man or woman experiences these physical changes, it warrants a trip to the doctor’s office to talk about these issues before they completely shut down your sex life.

Changes due to disease conditions

Another area affecting sex during later life can be the issue of different diseases you now have at this stage of your life.  Is having a sex life possible and how can it be done?

Arthritis – The ability to enjoy sex when suffering from painful joints isn’t easy but it can be accomplished.  The key is to relieve the pain as much as possible before getting into bed.  Try taking a warm bath before bedtime, or using over-the-counter medications for pain relief, or sometimes trying out new sexual positions to see what works best. 

Incontinence – The accidental or involuntary loss of urine can be a real sex killer.  Loss of bladder control or leaking of urine is more common as we grow older.  Women are more prone to this than men so if she has extra pressure on her abdomen, like during the missionary position, she is more likely to have a loss of urine.  Changing positions is the best method of avoiding this situation.  Incontinence can be treated so visiting the doctor can address this problem.

Depression – As we age, depression is common in older adults for various reasons – chronic pain, physical disability, dementia, prescription drugs, and loss of loved ones over the years. Enjoyment of sex and intimacy often is lacking.  To break out of the mental haze of depression, seek help from your doctor as it can be treated.

Diabetes – Both men and women can be affected sexually if diagnosed with diabetes.  For men, it can increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction which can be helped with medications.  Women with diabetes also are affected by having increased vaginal yeast infections causing itching and irritation making sex less desirable.  Medications can also treat yeast infections.

Heart disease and stroke – Narrowing and hardening of the arteries can change blood vessels so that blood does not flow freely.  This can result in men and women being able to achieve an orgasm and men having more difficulty with erectile dysfunction. 

People who have had a heart attack may be anxious of having another if they have sex.  Even though sexual activity is generally safe, always follow your doctor’s advice and talk to them about any concerns. 

Depending on the severity of a stroke will determine if and how if may affect your sex life.  If a person has continual weakness or paralysis from a stroke, start slowly.  Try massaging and exploring what feels good.  If paralysis is involved experiment with touch of what areas feel sensation.  Weakness on one side of the body means finding a more comfortable position – maybe a side-lying position or having your partner on top.  

Surgery – All couples should inquire about when it is safe for sex after a surgery.  Depending on the type of surgery, it could be the day after or several weeks or months before it is advisable. Usually when a doctor says “you should be able to return to your normal activities in ….”  this typically includes sex. 

But let pain be your guide and if there is pain involved when attempting sex then you are probably not ready yet.  Again, seeking the advice of your doctor when these situations arise can help determine when sex is safe to resume after surgery. 

In conclusion

A healthy active sex life can be extended well into later in life.  Even though physical problems or disease situations may interrupt intimacy at times, it does not have to end discovering new ways of closeness – hugging, kissing, touching, and just spending time together can bring about a deeper affection for one another making the relationship flourish. 

Why good sex makes you happy and healthy

Why good sex makes you happy and healthy

Make sex a regular activity in your life and you become a healthier person.  All the physical touching, hugging, and endorphins being released bring health benefits to all of us. 

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How men can recharge their sexual energy

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How men can recharge their sexual energy

If a lack of energy has drained a man’s desire for sex, there are ways to reignite the passion. Men generally enjoy a high sex drive for decades of their life, but it is not uncommon for that energetic drive to diminish.  When libido is running low, a man most likely also has low energy in other areas of his life. He may become apathetic, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities which can also result in a more sedentary lifestyle.

If and when a man feels he has lost his sexual energy, he should not believe his sex life has ended and nothing can be done about it. Fortunately, there are several strategies to be addressed to get a man back in the game.

Energy drainers affecting a man’s sex life

What diminishes a man’s sexual energy usually revolves around some kind of physical, emotional, or relationship issue. Here is a look at the most common issues:

·      Erectile dysfunction

Experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) for the first time can be a blow to a man’s self-esteem.  He may have believed it would never happen to him. But when it does, the feeling of embarrassment or worry over how his partner will judge him can be overwhelming. The motivation and sexual energy necessary to perform can quickly be depleted.

Any man with ED needs to bring up the topic with his doctor. There are several ED medications that work well along with other options for getting and keeping an erection. It also helps if a man can learn to open up and talk about what is going on.  Men should realize they are not alone in experiencing ED and there is help and support out there for them. 

·      Low testosterone

Male hypogonadism or low testosterone is a condition in which the body does not produce enough of the male hormone, testosterone.  Testosterone plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty.

One of the most common side effects of hypogonadism is fatigue. Other signs can be loss of muscle mass, increased body fat, hair loss, reduced bone mass, reduction in testicle size, and low sexual energy. 

Testosterone levels begin to drop about 1% each year beginning in a man’s late 30s and could fall by as much as 50% by age 70.  To determine levels of testosterone, a blood test is taken at a doctor’s office. If a man is found to have insufficient testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy or TRT can be given by absorbable pellet implants, topical gels, patches, and injections.  This therapy can ignite a spark reawakening a man’s sexual energy. 

·      Lack of sleep

Anyone who has poor sleep knows well what an energy zapper it can be.  A night of restless sleep results in sluggish behavior the next day. Lack of sleep also increases stress and interferes with how a man’s body and brain is storing and using energy. And, let’s not forget how poor sleep will affect a man’s sex drive.

Any man struggling to get a good night’s sleep should discuss this with his doctor. There are several things that need to be investigated.  Sleep apnea is one area that should be addressed. A review by their doctor to see if a change in prescribed medications or dosage is needed or if cognitive behavioral therapy could be of help. Or it could simply be that adjusting diet and sleep environment or behaviors is all it takes for improved sleep.

·      Lack of exercise

It’s kind of a vicious circle.  If you lack sexual energy, likely you’ll lack energy for exercise and vice versa.  Yet regular exercise is one of the best natural energy boosters out there. Numerous studies have linked physical activity with improving fatigue, especially among people who are sedentary.

All it takes is to take the first step and initiative to get moving – start off slowly and build up to at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise.  Brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, tennis, whatever a man enjoys the most can be the trick to reigniting a lackluster sex life. Focusing on a combination of cardio and weight-bearing exercise is a good start.

·      Medical conditions

Numerous medical conditions can put a damper on sexual energy. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or thyroid issues can be culprits robbing a man of interest in sex.  For men who already have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, discuss with their doctor about the problem.  For men experiencing less energy for intimacy but does not have a diagnosis for any medical condition, it may be time to for a thorough checkup just to be sure one doesn’t already exist.