Sex isn’t just for the young folks: A new study published in the British Medical Journal found that 80 percent of seniors 50 to 80 are sexually active. But with that abundance of activity, the rate of STDs has skyrocketed.
In particular, the CDC found that cases of syphilis and chlamydia in people ages 45 to 64 have almost tripled over the past 10 years.
Why? The over-50 age group is one of the fastest-growing demographics in online dating, CNN reports, often for people who have been divorced or after the death of a spouse, and the “practice safe sex” message that younger age groups have grown up with hasn’t necessarily reached seniors, who might “think it can’t happen to them,” says clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky, or consider condoms superfluous.
Older men can be wary of condom use because it can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Women assume since they’re above child-bearing years that condoms are unnecessary.
This new data shows that the truth is quite the opposite: If you’re sexually active and over 50, Kuriansky says, ask your doctor to screen you regularly for STIs like chlamydia and HPV, and always use condoms. Once you’ve got that covered (so to speak), enjoy your sexuality! Safely, of course.
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