The rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has doubled among individuals between the ages of 50 and 70 over the last 10 years. In 2005, 15% of new HIV cases in the United States were among individuals more than 50 years old.* Researchers found that conversations regarding safe sex among seniors is severely lacking as many doctors are not providing the necessary information on how to prevent diseases.
Beyond a lack of information, seniors are staying sexually active longer due to a steady increase in the use of drugs for erectile dysfunction increasing their risk of contracting an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease). Combine that with the biological changes in post-menopausal women (when they are at increased risk of infection due to decreased lubrication), it is no surprise that sexually transmitted diseases and infections are spreading among the older generation.
To protect yourself and your partner, follow these tips when engaging in sexual contact with a new partner:
- Have a discussion about both of your sexual backgrounds to find out if there is a history of STDs
- Get tested before having sexual relations
- Always use condoms and lubricant. The condom acts as a barrier, while the lubricant reduces the chance of getting a sore or cut which would allow infections to enter the bloodstream directly
- Talk with your doctor who can answer your specific questions and offer treatments and advice
Any healthy adult can enjoy sex as long as they are willing and able to do so. By following the tips above and staying informed, sexually active adults of any age group can be pro-active in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
At MALO Health & Wellness, we work closely with our patients to ensure they lead a long and healthy life. Our women’s wellness experts are available to answer any questions you may have. For more information, call us at: (201) 549-8890.