Sex, Race, and Aging: why fifty is not the new thirty in bed

(And it’s a good thing!)

Photo credit: Elana Emar via The EyeOpener

Pelvic Floor Disorders Affect Body Image, which Affects Sex

We know that body image and the way women perceive themselves are related to women’s perceptions of their sexual health. It’s no wonder, then, that women who experience problems with their pelvic floor also tie these issues to their sexual health. In one review, they found that problems with sexual health affect 30–50% of women, as opposed to 50–80% of women with pelvic floor disorders.

There are Differences in Race and Sexual Activity for Mid-Life Women

During interviews of over 3,000 U.S. women ages 40–55, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) helped us learn a lot about women’s sexual behaviors. There’s a few trends to note from their study regarding ethnicity and sex (mostly found in the study’s “Table 2”):

  1. Most women across ethnic groups expressed moderate or greater emotional satisfaction with their sex lives.
  2. Hispanic, Chinese, and Japanese women were less likely to endorse extreme physical pleasure during sex, and more likely to endorse moderate physical pleasure compared to White and African-American women.
  3. The majority of all women expressed interest in being sexually active with their partners in the past six months.
  4. About 1 in 5 (or 20%) of all the women expressed having pain sometimes during intercourse.

Women DO Enjoy Sex in Mid-Life and Beyond

For those of us women still in our reproductive years, I think we have something to look forward to when it comes to our sex lives. The studies seem to show that women have more intimate, quality sex as we age, as opposed to having sex more frequently when younger. It’s important to know that most U.S. women can and do enjoy their sex lives during menopause. On the other hand, there’s a common belief that sex should be less enjoyable as women age because of the changes that happen around menopause. That’s just not true. There are treatments for the common issues affecting women’s sex lives as they age. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, and if you don’t like their answer ask for a referral to a specialist in women’s sexual health.

Bill Nye taught me everyone is a shade of brown. This is a forum for all females about all things female. Official blog for Dr. Aldene Zeno MD, urogynecologist.

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