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Treatment of Sexual Disorders in Older Woman

Introduction

Treatment for sexual disorders in the older woman are available but underutilize. If you encounter this problem, you should consult your doctor.

Assessment

Your doctor will take a comprehensive history to determine the possible medical cause which may impact your sexual function (example; depression, anxiety, substance abuse, menopause, diabetes).

Your complete sexual history is imperative and this includes attitude toward sexuality, the level of sexual knowledge of you and your partner, the relationship, past sexual behaviors, and current and past sexual levels of functioning (example;  desire, arousal, and orgasm).

You also need to inform your doctor your concerns and worries due to these symptoms.

Treatment

Specific treatment such as medications or hormones may be given if there are any specific cause for your sexual problem. If you’re on medications and it was found to be the cause, some medication changes will be made to reduce the symptoms.

Your doctor will encourage you to cultivate a positive attitude toward sexuality in late life and avoid unrealistic expectations, such as that sex must be the same as when you were younger.  You have to learn as how to modify sexual activity in the face of fatigue and pain, and the use of vaginal lubricants if pain is the main problem.

Social and partnership skills are essential especially in maintaining open and honest communication between you and your partner.

Lifestyle adjustments are beneficial such as quit smoking for smokers, and avoidance of alcohol or illicit drugs. Pay attention to regular exercise, including pelvic floor exercises, proper nutrition, and sleep hygiene techniques and stress management techniques.

Your doctor may also refer you to a marriage counselor or a psychotherapist if needs arise.

Prevention

Knowing your sexual needs is important to prevent sexual dysfunction in old age. Sexuality does not comprise merely of the frequency of intercourse but also includes sexual dreams, fantasies, genital sensations, and sexual appetite. Sexual education is important to define normal and dysfunctional sexuality.

Always maintain open and honest communication. Noncoital behavior such as massage can promote comfort and increase communication with your partner. Eliminate anxiety by relaxation technique or use of warm baths. Use aids such as books or video to enhance stimulation.

Maintain healthy lifestyles with particular attention to good nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, and positive attitude will prevent sexual problem in elderly woman

References

  1. Female Sexual Dysfunction: Evaluation and Treatment : NANCY A. PHILLIPS, M.D., Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand ; Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jul 1;62(1):127-136.
  2. Sexual dysfunction in the elderly: age or disease? Camacho ME1, Reyes-Ortiz CA ; .Int J Impot Res. 2005 Dec;17 Suppl 1:S52-6.

 

Last Reviewed : 22 January 2016
Writer : Dr. Radziah bt. Jabir
Accreditor : Dr. Radziah binti Abdul Rashid