No matter our age, it’s important to remember the sexual health essentials

Age doesn’t have to hinder sexuality, but it also doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Photo courtesy Snohimish County Health Department

Age doesn’t have to hinder sexuality, but it also doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Photo courtesy Snohimish County Health Department

Let’s talk about sex.

Intimacy can be an important part of life for adults of all ages. Older adults may find sex more enjoyable than when they were younger. There tend to be fewer distractions, more private moments, and an increased ability to communicate wants and needs compared to younger years.

Changes that come with age can make sex challenging at times, such as physical limitations or mood shifts during menopause and major life adjustments. But age has its benefits, too. There’s less worry about an unplanned pregnancy, and often a greater understanding of your own body and your partner’s body.

Age doesn’t have to hinder sexuality.

Age also does not protect against sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STIs or STDs). These include HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis B, among others. In recent years, the spread of syphilis has increased significantly. And the number of older adults with HIV – the virus that causes AIDS – is growing, according to the National Institute on Aging.

Unfortunately, people don’t age out of being able to get these infections, some of which cause serious harm or death. This is especially true if they are undetected and untreated.

So here are a few reminders for safe, healthy sex:

  • Get tested, especially if you have a new partner, multiple partners, or are not sure about your partner’s sexual history. Talk to your healthcare provider about STI testing. If you’re uninsured or underinsured, there are no-cost resources. The Snohomish County Health Department’s STI Clinic in Everett is one local resource: www.snohd.org/STIclinic.
  • Get treated. If you do test positive for an STI, follow through with the full treatment plan from your medical provider.
  • Use protection. While you may no longer need a condom to prevent pregnancy, condoms still are important to protect against STIs. Like screening, protection should be part of the plan with a new partner, if you have multiple partners, or if you’re unsure about health history.
  • Talk to your partner. Be honest and open about your sexual health history. Support each other and talk to a doctor or seek screening if you have concerns.
  • Stay informed. Don’t let sexual health be a taboo topic. Bring questions or concerns to a medical professional. There are resources to help you stay safely sexually active. You can also read more from the National Institute on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

Sound Publishing, Inc. does not accept liability for any loss or damages caused by the use of any products, nor do we endorse any products posted in our Marketplace.

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