A call for greater attention to older women's sexual health

January 24, 2018, Wiley
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new Journal of the American Geriatrics Society article reviews common issues in caring for the sexual health of older women, noting that physicians often lack sufficient training.

Only a minority of report discussing sexual issues with a physician, and when discussions do occur, they are usually initiated by the patient. Physicians should ask regularly and proactively about sexual activity and function.

Important interventions include offering practical advice to common and sexual problems that confront older women; treating vulvovaginal atrophy; and providing screening, prevention strategies, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections when appropriate.

"Sexuality in older women has been systematically ignored. We know older women are sexually active and interested in sex—that's the most important reason for physicians and other healthcare providers to feel comfortable about addressing sexual issues in older women," said co-author Dr. Janet Pregler, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "From a public health perspective, are increasing in older women. That's important, too."

Explore further: New study compares sexual practices among older and younger HIV-infected women

More information: Lisa Granville et al, Women's Sexual Health and Aging, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2018). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15198

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