Women And Sex At 50 ((EXCLUSIVE))
In case you need a reminder that every person and body is wildly different, enjoy the below story, originally published in June 2018, wherein 47 women over the age of 47 weigh in on the state of their sex lives.
women and sex at 50
A recent study showed how to distinguish the clinical symptoms of a RUTI from irritative voiding symptoms (urgency, dysuria and frequency) without infection. Women with RUTIs were more likely to experience symptoms after intercourse, have a previous history of pyelonephritis, and experience rapid resolution of symptoms post-antibiotic therapy than those women with irritative voiding symptoms.5,6 Moreover, women with RUTIs were more unlikely to report nocturia and have symptoms between episodes of UTI than women without infection. The presence of irritative voiding symptoms between perceived episodes of UTI suggests a non-infectious cause as seen in interstitial cystitis, urethral syndrome or detrusor muscle overactivity.5,27
Penicillins and cephalosporins are considered safe during pregnancy, but trimethoprim, sulphonamides, and fluoroquinolones should be avoided. Oral antibiotic therapy resolves 94% of uncomplicated UTIs, although recurrence is not uncommon. In the recently published International Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Cystitis, a 3-day regimen of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) and a 5-day course of nitrofurantoin are recommended as a first-line therapy for the management of uncomplicated UTIs. A 5-day course of nitrofurantoin has an efficacy equivalent to a 3-day TMP-SMX course.48,49 A 3- to 7-day regimen of beta-lactams, such as cefaclor or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, is appropriate when first-line therapies cannot be used.43,48 Although a 3-day course of fluoroquinolones can be quite effective, it is not usually recommended as first-line therapy because of the emerging resistance to them and their potential side effects, as well as the high cost; nevertheless, fluoroquinolones are the drug of choice in women who are experiencing low tolerance or an allergic reaction after empirical therapy.48,50 In a meta-analysis, a single-dose regimen of fosfomycin trometamol has been shown to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of UTIs in both pregnant and non-pregnant women, as well as in elderly and paediatric patients, but it seems to be slightly less effective than the above mentioned therapies.43,48,51 Pivmecillinam in a 3- to 7-day course is also effective, but not available in most regions. Because of its poor efficacy, amoxicillin and ampicillin should not be used for the empirical treatment of UTIs.48
For many women over the age of 50, these feelings can be common, says gynecologist Katie Propst, MD. After menopause you may face an increasing number of barriers to sex, including dryness and constriction of the vagina or medical conditions such as diabetes and extra weight.
Dr. Propst says it can often be overall health or an underlying medical condition that is lowering your libido. Sometimes reviewing your medications and making adjustments to your dosages or changing the medications you are taking will help. A clinician may also recommend medications such as low-dose vaginal estrogen for postmenopausal women if lubricants and moisturizers are ineffective. If the estrogen does not help, there are other medications and treatments to help with the discomfort.
Desire usually (but not always) wanes with age. In general, sex drive decreases gradually with age in both men and women, but women are two to three times more likely to be affected by a decline in sex drive as they age. Reduced sex drive becomes much more common in women starting in their late 40s and 50s. The effect of age also differs by individual: some women experience a big decrease in sexual desire beginning in their midlife years, others notice no change, and a few report increased interest in sex at midlife. Those women whose desire increases may feel liberated by their new freedom from contraception or by newly found privacy if their children have recently left home.
When decreased desire is a concern. For many women in the menopause transition, a gradual decline in sexual desire does not have an important impact on overall sexuality and quality of life. For others, diminished desire and the rareness of sexual thoughts is a source of distress, undercutting their satisfaction with life and changing their sense of sexuality and self. If you are troubled by a persistent or recurrent lack of desire, you are likely to have what has been described as "hypoactive sexual desire disorder," the most common sexual complaint among women.
Causes of decreased desire are complex. Scientific studies have consistently shown that about one third of US women report low sexual desire or interest, and that this low desire is troubling to about one in three of those women.1,2 The upshot is that about 10% of US women are troubled by having low sexual desire. While a troubling lack of desire can affect women of any age, it has been reported in studies at a higher rate (12%) among midlife women (ages 45 to 64) than among women 65 or older (7%) or women younger than 45 (9%).1
Talking about low sex drive with a doctor may be difficult for some women. So some women may turn to over-the-counter herbal supplements. However, the FDA doesn't regulate such products, and in many cases, they haven't been well-studied. Herbal supplements can have side effects or interact with other medications you may be taking. Always talk with a doctor before using them.
A recent University of Michigan/AARP poll found that 40 percent of those between 65 and 80 report being sexually active, with more than half of those who have a partner saying that they still engage in intimate encounters. When it comes to those in their 50s, a separate study found that up to 91 percent of men and 86 percent of women are sexually active. And one in three 50-somethings is having sex at least once a week.
Estrogen is one of two sex hormones commonly associated with people assigned female at birth (AFAB), including cisgender women, transgender men and nonbinary people with vaginas. Along with progesterone, estrogen plays a key role in your reproductive health. The development of secondary sex characteristics (breasts, hips, etc.), menstruation, pregnancy and menopause are all possible, in part, because of estrogen.
Estrogen affects the reproductive health of people who are assigned male at birth (AMAB), too. In cisgender men, transgender women and nonbinary people with penises, estrogen impacts sex drive and the ability to get an erection and make sperm.
Similar to other addictive drugs, fewer females than males use marijuana.13 For females who do use marijuana, however, the effects can be different than for male users. Research indicates that marijuana impairs spatial memory in women more than it does in men,22,23 while males show a greater marijuana-induced high.24,25
For both sexes, marijuana use disorder is associated with an increased risk of at least one other mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. However, men who are addicted to marijuana have higher rates of other substance use problems as well as antisocial personality disorders. By contrast, women who are addicted to marijuana have more panic attacks39 and anxiety disorders.40,41 Although the severity of marijuana use disorders is generally higher for men, women tend to develop these disorders more quickly after their first marijuana use.42 Rates of seeking treatment for marijuana use disorder are low for both sexes.43
Women tend to begin using methamphetamine at an earlier age than do men,50,51 with female users typically more dependent on methamphetamine compared to male users.53,55 Women are also less likely to switch to another drug when they lack access to methamphetamine.50 In addition, as with other substances, women tend to be more receptive than men to methamphetamine treatment.51,54,56
Research suggests that MDMA produces stronger hallucinatory effects in women compared to men, although men show higher MDMA-induced blood pressure increases.57 There is some evidence that, in occasional users, women are more prone than men to feeling depressed a few days after they last used MDMA.58 Both men and women show similar increases in aggression a few days after they stop using MDMA.58,59
MDMA can interfere with the body's ability to eliminate water and decrease sodium levels in the blood, causing a person to drink large amounts of fluid. In rare cases, this can lead to increased water in the spaces between cells, which may eventually produce swelling of the brain and even death. Young women are more likely than men to die from this reaction, with almost all reported cases of death occurring in young females between the ages of 15 and 30.60,61 MDMA can also interfere with temperature regulation and cause acute hyperthermia, leading to neurotoxic effects and even death.62
Some research indicates that women are more sensitive to pain than men68 and more likely to have chronic pain,69 which could contribute to the high rates of opioid prescriptions among women of reproductive age.70 In addition, women may be more likely to take prescription opioids without a prescription to cope with pain, even when men and women report similar pain levels. Research also suggests that women are more likely to misuse prescription opioids to self-treat for other problems such as anxiety or tension.71
A possible consequence of prescription opioid misuse is fatal overdose, which can occur because opioids suppress breathing. In 2016, 7,109 women and 9,978 men died from prescription opioid overdose (a total of 17,087)* which is about 19 women per day compared to about 27 men dying from overdosing on prescription opioids. However, from 1999 to 2016, deaths from prescription opioid overdoses increased more rapidly for women (596 percent or sevenfold) than for men (312 percent or fourfold). Women between the ages of 45 and 54 are more likely than women of other age groups to die from a prescription opioid overdose.72