Metromix's Valentine's Day Guide
Not in the mood tonight, dear? Not to worry, according to a study on sexual activity and satisfaction of older women.
A majority of women reported sexual satisfaction increases with age - and arousal and orgasm are frequent, despite having low sexual desire. Women want to engage in sex for multiple reasons, including sustaining relationships even when the libido wanes late in life, the authors conclude in the report in January's The American Journal of Medicine.
"A more positive approach to female sexual health focusing on sexual satisfaction maybe more beneficial to women than a focus limited to sexual activity or dysfunction," author and physician Susan Trompeter says in a press release.
The authors note earlier studies show low sexual desire correlates to low levels of arousal and orgasm. For example, a 2006 study of 50,000 women ages 18 to 101 reported the most common problem regarding satisfaction was low desire.
The current study involved 806 women who are part of ongoing, 40-year research and live in a planned community near San Diego. The researchers are from The University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. The women answered questions about the prevalence of their sexual activity, health, hormone use, frequency of arousal, lubrication, orgasm, discomfort and sexual desire and satisfaction.
The mean age was 67 years and 63% were postmenopausal. Sexual activity could include caressing, foreplay, masturbation and intercourse. Half who reported having a partner had been sexually active in the last four weeks.
Also among the findings:
•67% achieved orgasm most of the time or always. The youngest and oldest women in the study reported the highest frequency of orgasm satisfaction.
•The highest frequency of arousal was reported by the youngest women, but at least 1 in 5 women 80 or older reported arousal and orgasm almost always or always.
•Most sexually active women were moderately satisfied (24%) or very satisfied (54%) with the amount of emotional closeness during sex. Satisfaction with the amount of emotional closeness was associated with more frequent orgasm.
•Sexual frequency decreased as the participants aged, but almost half (47.5%) of the oldest women reported sexual satisfaction almost always or always. The youngest women reported being very satisfied less frequently (33.5%).
By Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY