Although sexuality remains an important component of emotional and physical intimacy that most men and women desire to experience throughout their lives, sexual dysfunction in women is a problem that is not well studied. Increasing recognition of this common problem and future research in this field may alter perceptions about sexuality, dismiss taboo and incorrect thoughts on sexual dysfunction, and spark better management for patients, allowing them to live more enjoyable lives. This need is especially acute for physicians who will increasingly encounter patients trying to maintain a high quality of life as their bodies and life circumstances change, and as advances in nutrition, health maintenance, and technology allow many to extend the time midlife activities are maintained. One quality-of-life issue affected by these changes, for both men and women, is sexuality. Although studies agree that the majority of women consider sexuality a very important determinant of quality of life, the literature on the subject of sexual function in elderly women is not extensive.
For women, sexuality changes with age but doesn’t disappear
Sexuality in Later Life | National Institute on Aging
But it does make me wonder about the future. Is there a time when sex will no longer be on the agenda? And can we—should we—change that? Shifren points out that the research letter did not find that sex was more satisfying for women who stated it was important to them, just that they were more likely to remain sexually active.
Sex and the older woman
Women over age 50 are having sex — and developing STIs — at a higher rate than commonly believed. The notion that women lose interest in sexual activity after menopause has collapsed under scientific scrutiny. Of those who were dissatisfied, more than half said they would prefer having sex more often. Many smaller studies corroborate the WHI results. All in all, it's become clear that older women are more sexually active than is commonly believed.
The need for intimacy is ageless. And studies now confirm that no matter what your gender, you can enjoy sex for as long as you wish. Naturally, sex at 70 or 80 may not be like it is at 20 or 30—but in some ways, it can be better.