Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

One in five men over 65 take pills for having sex

One in five men over 65 take pills for having sex

Interest in sex did appear to decrease with age however, with those between the ages of 65 and 70 almost twice as likely as those in their late 70s to be sexually active, and with 33% of those in their late 60s saying they were extremely or very interested in sex, compared with 19% of those in their late 70s. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported that they would talk with their health care provider if they had a problem with their sexual health.

Around 76 percent of older adults said that sex is an integral part of a romantic relationship at any age. However, only 17 percent of them have actually done this.

Overall, the survey shows that "sex is an important part of the lives of older people and a part that probably doesn't get the attention it deserves", said sociologist Erica Solway, associate director of The National Poll on Healthy Aging at the University of MI.

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But while sex is still clearly happening with older couples, there's still silence around elderly sex.

■ Eighteen percent of men and 3 percent of women said they had taken medications or supplements to improve sexual function in the past two years.

"Sexual health among older adults doesn't get much attention but is linked closely to quality of life, health and well-being", explained co-associate poll director Dr. Erica Solway.

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Solway and colleagues learned that there can be sharp differences in the respondents' sex lives depending on their health, age, and gender. Healthier seniors were twice as likely as those seniors in poor health to be sexually active. However, majority don't speak to their medical providers about this. Seventy percent of men strongly agreed or agreed that sex was important to their overall quality of life, while 40 percent of women said it was.

Of the satisfied gramps and grannies, 31 percent of men and 43 percent of women reported having "high levels of satisfaction". However, there were differences in the attitudes of men and women.

The University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging asked the representative sample of 1002 adults aged 65 to 80 years about their opinion on sex and relationships and their experiences related to sexual health.

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Perhaps the biggest takeaway of the poll, which was sponsored by the AARP, is that "the need for and interest in sexual intimacy doesn't stop at a certain age", said AARP Senior Vice President of Research Alison Bryant in a statement.

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