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In the same study, more than 25% of women aged 65 indicated that they were moderately or highly interested in sex.
The Women’s Health Initiative data, representing 27,347 postmenopausal women aged 50-79, indicated that among the one-third of respondents who stated they were currently dissatisfied with their current level of sexual activity, more than 50% said they wanted to have sex more often.
Postmenopausal women in particular may be at increased risk for acquiring HIV from an infected partner during heterosexual contact because of physiologic changes in the vagina.
Thinner vaginal tissues and a reduced amount of vaginal lubrication may lead to abrasions or tears during sex that increase the chance that HIV will enter the bloodstream.
If these women do not know what constitutes risky dating behavior (RDB)/ risky sexual behavior (RSB) or how to practice safer sex, they may be in danger of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In this article, the authors provide an update on STIs among women aged 50 , discuss sexual attitudes and beliefs among women in this age group that may lead to RDB/RSB, and issue a call to action for healthcare providers (HCPs) to address the sexual health of older women, particularly with regard to discussing safer sex practices.
Intimacy and sexual expression are normal human needs.
In the past, as men and women matured, they relied on spouses or long-term partners to satisfy these needs.
An increasing number of single women in the 50 age bracket are dating and seeking romantic sexual partners.In the 2009 survey, 48% of the respondents who were single and dating reported having sexual intercourse at least once a week.Nearly 6 in 10 agreed that sexual activity is important to a good relationship.In recent years, a new at-risk group has been identified that has been relatively invisible until now: sexually active women aged 50 years or older.The authors discuss the educational and primary care needs of these women so that their risk for developing STIs can be reduced.Romantic partner status was the most strongly associated factor with being sexually active, regardless of age.Similarly, in another cross-sectional study of 1,977 women aged 45-80, 60% reported being sexually active in the previous 3 months.In previous generations, there was a strongly held belief that women lose interest in sex after menopause.This belief does not appear to persist today, as revealed by data from recent studies.Failure to discuss these topics leaves many women in the dark about how to safely navigate new sexual relationships.Studies show that a lower level of knowledge and risk perception for STI transmission can be linked to RSB, a reduction in the intent to use condoms during sexual encounters, and a lower level of testing for STIs.