Essay on Late Adulthood Sexuality

1429 Words Mar 21st, 2012 6 Pages
Introduction
It’s something that most people prefer not to think about. That is until time flies and they, themselves, are approaching late adulthood. One day, hopefully, we’ll all be 65 years of age or older and wondering if we can still enjoy sexual experiences into late adulthood? This essay will delve into the personal issues of the people in late adulthood and their sex lives. It will also discuss some of the common problems that people in the late adulthood stage may encounter with sex and how they cope with those problems.

Discussion of Topic
According to our textbook, Development Across the Lifespan, one eighth of the population in the United States is 65 years of age or older. Additionally, the fastest growing segment of the
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Arousal response time also changes with age. During the beginning of sex, an older man may experience a delay in his erection, and when erect, the penis may not be as firm as when he was younger. Additionally, the orgasm experienced may not be as intense as before and the refractory period, or the time it takes a male to be able to orgasm again, can take much longer than in prior years.
There are physical changes to older women, as well, that affect their sexual abilities. The most common change is menopause, a natural event that generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Menopause is a transition period in a woman's life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, her body produces less estrogen and progesterone, and menstruation stops. Due to a fall in the hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone, a range of symptoms and changes to the female reproductive system occur. For instance, menopause causes the vaginal walls become less elastic and thinner, the vagina becomes shorter, and lubricating secretions from the vagina become watery. As a result, these changes can often lead to a decreased interest in sex or sexual stimulation, and the vaginal dryness can cause painful sexual intercourse (PubMed Health, 2011). Painful sexual intercourse is known as dyspareunia. A water based personal lubricant is strongly recommended in alleviating discomfort caused by vaginal dryness and friction.
For both men and women, with increasing age

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