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Columbus Dispatch: Sex an Important Part of Healthcare for Today’s Senior Citizens

From boosting your immune system to lowering blood pressure, maintaining a healthy sex life can lead to a variety of health benefits. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why 65% of Americans age 65 or older are still sexually active.

Columbus Dispatch reporter Ken Gordon recently spoke with Karen Kirkham, MD, a geriatrician at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, about why so many senior citizens want to remain sexually active and the steps they can take to do that.

Results from a 2018 AARP poll indicate over half of senior citizens felt sex was important to their overall quality of life. Clearly, attitudes toward sex are shifting amongst different generations.

“By 2030, one in five Americans will be over 65,” Dr. Kirkham told the Dispatch. “Society doesn’t want to think about Grandma having sex, but that’s totally going to change as the baby boomers reach this age.”

With so many effective treatments already available, Dr. Kirkham first recommends having open, honest conversations about your sexual health with a doctor.

“It should be part of your routine with your primary care physician,” Dr. Kirkham said. “But people rarely ask their doctors about it. I encourage them to have a proactive talk about things like this that matter.”

For older women interested in maintaining their sex lives, Dr. Kirkham warns against regularly using medications that cause dry mouth, which can lead to vaginal dryness and incontinence. She also encourages women to try pelvic-floor therapy and Kegel exercises, which can make a big difference when dealing with incontinence.

Interested in reading more? You can view the full Dispatch story by clicking on their logo below.

Need a physician? Click here to find an OhioHealth primary care physician near you.