Sexually active midlife women keep on having sex in old age- Study

Middle-aged women who are sexually active are likely to carry on having sex as they grow older, a study has revealed. Most of the sexually-active midlife women continue to have sex even if they develop sexual dysfunction, shows the study.

Contrary to the widespread assumption that women don’t enjoy sex as they age, the latest study suggests that most midlife women who enjoy having sex actually keep on enjoying it in their 60s and beyond.

The surprising findings come from a recent study carried out by Dr. Holly Thomas, a general internal medicine fellow in women’s health at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and her colleagues.

“There””s this popular public perception that as women age, sex becomes unimportant, and that women just stop having sex as they get older,” Thomas told Reuters Health. “From our study, it looks like most women continue to have sex during midlife,” she said.

“It may be detrimental to label a woman as sexually dysfunctional,” added Thomas.

Study detail

For the purpose of the study, Thomas and colleagues started following 602 Pittsburgh women, who were between the ages of 40 and 65 when the study began in 2005. After four years, 354 of the participants were classified as sexually active based on the info they provided via questionnaires, asking them about their about their health, menopausal status and symptoms, and sexual activity.

Again four years later, the same group of women completed a brief questionnaire, asking them about the importance of sex in their lives. At year eight, more than 85 percent of women, between the ages of 48 and 73, remained sexually active, the research team found.

Overall, 10 percent of the study participants considered sex as extremely important to them, while 50 percent said rated it as moderately important and about 20 percent as not very important.

Those who rated sex as important were three times as likely to remain sexually active as women for whom sex was not so important.

“A woman’s sex life may change over time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean sex isn’t important or she isn’t enjoying it. But at least in the four years that we were examining, the vast majority of women who were sexually active continued to be sexually active,” Dr Thomas concluded.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging, Thomas’s research is published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

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