Women aging reproductive system health
In part because of postmenopausal changes in the reproductive system, some types of urinary problems become more common with age. Low estrogen levels may predispose to infections of the urinary tract. Furthermore, weakening of pelvic structures, particularly in women who have borne several children, can produce “stress incontinence”. It is a leakage of urine during such activities as coughing, sneezing, and straining. Special exercises often can help to control stress incontinence. Underwear is now available that has been especially designed to offer protection and assurance to women with this problem.
Where simple solutions are unsatisfactory, medication should be considered before resorting to surgery. Menopause does not end the need for breast and pelvic examinations. Their importance may even increase in the later years of life. This is because older women no longer have the monthly menstrual reminder to do a breast self-examination. However, they should choose a specific date to do it each month.
It is normally suggested to be be done 3-5 days after your menstruation starts and do it regularly every month. If you are going through menopause, try to examine with a fix date on every month. You should not feel any lumps. Detail breast examinations, such as mammograms, it is suggested to do the screening every 2 years for 50s and above. As for individuals below 50s, please seek doctor’s advice and understand the pros and the cons.
Regularly scheduled gynecologic checkups as well as consultation with a physician whenever problems such as bleeding arise continue to be important throughout life. Although in most cases of postmenopausal bleeding the underlying cause is benign, prompt medical attention is necessary to identify potentially serious conditions while the surgery is too often performed on older women. Therefore, second or even third opinions should be sought before proceeding with this operation.
What actually happens to sexual functioning in old age? Basically, women and men experience a decrease in intensity and rapidity of sexual response. For a woman, this means that she may take as long as 5 minutes, compared to 15 or 30 seconds in younger years, to lubricate, but clitoral response remains the same. Between ages 50 and 70, the duration of her orgasm gradually declines from 8 to 12 contractions to 4 or 5. But there is no decrease in sexual arousal and frequently there is an increase. More important, women can still have multiple orgasms well into their eighties, an ability few men enjoy at any age.
As a man ages, the pattern is basically the same. Excitement builds more slowly; erection takes longer to attain. The plateau phase tends to last longer than during youth, making the older man better able to maintain erection without orgasm. When he does reach orgasm, it is usually briefer and less intense, and subsequent loss of erection may take just a few seconds compared to a younger man’s minutes or hours.
In other words, healthy men do not lose their ability to have erections and ejaculations as they age. But it takes longer to complete intercourse, which may be helpful, because older women also take longer to become sexually excited. Compared to women, men experience greater sexual changes with age and tend to desire sexual intercourse less often. When sexual response is less narrowly defined, however, both sexes can experience great physical satisfaction from caresses and cuddling at no matter what age.
Indeed,data indicate that some woman’s interest in sex increases as they grow older. Studies by Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, researchers at Duke, the National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute on Aging indicate that people who are sexually active in their early years tend to remain sexually active. Past enjoyment, interest, and frequency are key determinants of sexuality in old age. Although sexual decline is often caused by poor physical health, including alcoholism, anemia, diabetes, malnutrition, and fatigue, some studies show that even the terminally ill often retain sexual desire.
For most people, sex is important to well-being, identity, and a sense of control over one’s body. Even more important is sensuality, which is broader than sexuality and involves all the body’s senses in the enjoyment of a partner. Best of all are loving relationships marked by intimacy and affection, of which sex and sensuality are but a part. Thus sexual “neutering” of old people denies the human need for pleasure, tenderness, warmth, and the satisfaction of body contact. Full sexual expression, on the other hand, can provide intimacy, love, commitment, self-assertion-all psychological reinforcements at a time when people most need them.
An important source of emotional support and pleasure in old age is sexuality. One couple, after 35 years of marriage, moved to an isolated house in the country where they spend most of their time working the garden, swimming, and making love. The 68-year-old woman, in an article in Ms. magazine, wrote that she hopes the honeymoon will last forever. “We are always touching. I’m glad I’m not like Mama was-she slept downstairs, Daddy slept up, and they never gave each other a good word.” Some older women “lose” interest in sex to protect themselves against the probability that they will not find sex partners anyway. Others, who might have sexual opportunities, fear risking outright rejection should their lover be repulsed by their aging bodies.Meanwhile, scientific evidence proves that sexual interest and ability can persist into the ninth decade for men and women alike.