Sexual safety among seniors in today’s day and age is of vital importance. Today’s seniors have –
- more open attitudes toward sexuality,
- better health,
- internet dating, and
- medications like Viagra.
Thus, many golden-agers are remaining sexually active.
Unfortunately, older people are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than younger adults. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to practice safe sex.
Here are 4 tips on having and enjoying safe sex, no matter what your age.
Checklist for Sexual Safety Among Seniors
1. Do a background check
To be sexually safe, you must know your partner’s sexual background before having oral, vaginal, or anal sex. All types of sex can spread STDs. Talk about your sexual histories. At a minimum, tell each other –
- whether you’ve ever been tested for STDs,
- what the results were, and
- whether you’ve ever injected illegal drugs.
HIV/AIDS can also be spread via shared hypodermic needles, though the most common risk factor for older women is sex with an infected man.
2. Consider getting tested first
Safe sex protects both you and your partner. To be safe, both of you must be tested for HIV and other STDs before having sex. STDs don’t always cause obvious symptoms. And some symptoms of STDs or HIV, such as fatigue, can be mistaken for age-related health problems.
3. Use a condom and lubricant
Sexual safety means –
- using a condom and lubricant every time you have sex,
- knowing your partner’s sexual history, and
- knowing you are in a sexually exclusive relationship.
Water-based lubricants such as K-Y Jelly are important. Why? They may lower your chances of getting a sore or tiny cut on the penis or inside the vagina. These sores and cuts can increase the risk of getting STDs.
4. Talk to your healthcare provider about sexual safety
Ask your healthcare provider for advice about protecting yourself from STDs. Also ask him or her for the best treatments for common sexual problems such as vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Effective treatments for vaginal dryness range from over-the-counter moisturizers and lubricants to estrogen creams, tablets, and rings that you insert vaginally.
Though ED is more common with age, it isn’t an inevitable part of growing older. Rather, it’s often due to underlying medical or emotional problems such as heart disease or diabetes, medication side effects, or anxiety. Because ED may be the first sign of an underlying medical condition, it’s especially important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have this problem.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other healthcare provider. Always consult your healthcare provider about your medications, symptoms, and health problems.