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Sexual health

skewed photo of a happy, older, African-American couple in bathrobes reclining on a bed

Many older women desire and enjoy an active sex life. For some women, the freedom from the hassle of monthly periods and worries about pregnancy help them enjoy sex more than ever after menopause. But for other women, physical changes, illness, disabilities, and some medicines make sex painful, difficult, or hard to enjoy.

Older women also need to know about threats to sexual health and protective steps to take. For instance, older women (and men) sometimes don't think that they could be at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, and HIV. This is not true. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 persons living with HIV/AIDS in the United States is 50 or older. Yet, there are many ways to lower the risk of getting an STI, including HIV. Read on to learn more about sexuality and sexual health.

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Content last updated: August 12, 2010.

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