But, even the most serious health problems usually don't have to stop you from having a satisfying sex life. Joint pain due to arthritis can make sexual contact uncomfortable.
Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a woman's breast.
Your body is as capable of sexual response as ever, but you may lose your sexual desire or sense of being desired.
Still, the sex life of the 50-plus set is alive and well. We practically invented sex." At monthly gatherings called "Sex on the Porch," sex educator and coach Katherine Forsythe hosts an open forum for women 50 and older to discuss sexuality.
"Society's view of aging women as sexless is wrong, wrong, wrong," Price writes. She urges these women to ask their partners to prove they've been tested for STIs.
But if a woman believes that looking young or being able to give birth makes her more feminine, she may begin to worry about how desirable she is no matter what her age is. However, most women will also have less vaginal lubrication. By age 65, about 15 to 25% of men have this problem at least one out of every four times they are having sex.
This may happen in men with heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes-either because of the disease or the medicines used to treat it. His erection may not be as firm or as large as it used to be. The loss of erection after orgasm may happen more quickly, or it may take longer before an erection is again possible. Illness, disability, or the drugs you take to treat a health problem can affect your ability to have and enjoy sex.
The University of Michigan Health System runs a Sex Matters clinic specifically for individuals and couples 60 and older.
"Regardless of age, prevention efforts must continue to focus on changing risk behaviors that lead to infection and helping those living with HIV learn their status," Scott Bryan, spokesman for the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, says.
Price, author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty, says that when she and her now husband were ready to get intimate, she asked him point blank: "Shall I get the condoms or will you?
" Talking openly about safe sex and a partner's past may be unfamiliar territory for the over-50 crowd.
These can interfere with intimacy between older people. Narrowing and hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis can change blood vessels so that blood does not flow freely.