Seniors and Sex: Is ‘Use It or Lose It’ a Real Thing?

Seniors and Sex: Is ‘Use It or Lose It’ a Real Thing?

You hear the phrase often. When it comes to sex as you age, is it really true? Does getting your groove on more often mean you’ll be able to enjoy the activity for longer?

Some say, ‘yes’. There’s the argument that it can be easier to keep a long-burning flame alight than start a new one. Once an old one burns out, it can be hard to light something from nothing. And it’s not just psychological, but physical.

According to Janet Gibbens, MD, a gynecologist at Providence Health Systems in Portland, Oregon who was interviewed by the Huffington Post in 2018, if you’re having sex regularly you’re bringing an increased blood flow to your penis or vagina more often. Because of this, more oxygen is circulating down there. This could mean your sexual organs stay in better shape, in terms of strength and elasticity, as time goes by.

But sex as a senior isn’t an easy road for all. Many women experience pain with intercourse as they age.

Related: 6 Dating Tips for Seniors

The levels of hormones working to keep things supple and flexible where it matters drop considerably. And for men, keeping an erection in later years isn’t always the journey that it once was.

If you’re in good health however, good sex could definitely be in your future as you age.

“If you stay interested, stay healthy, stay off medications, and have a good mate, then you can have good sex all the way to the end of life,” says Dr. Walter M.Bortz, a professor at Stanford Medical School, a past president of the American Geriatrics Society and former co-chair of the American Medical Association’s Task Force on Aging.

“There’s strong data all over: It’s a matter of survival,” he adds. “People that have sex live longer. Married people live longer. People need people. The more intimate the connection, the more powerful the effects.”

So, go ahead. Use it.

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