Late Adulthood Sexuality Essay

Words: 1427
Pages: 6

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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According to the AARP’s Beyond 50 Report (2009), more than 70 million Americans ages 50 and older –four out of five older adults– suffer from at least one chronic condition. For example, arthritis and hypertension become common in late adulthood. As you can imagine, illness commonly interferes with a person’s sexuality and often contributes to sexual difficulties.
With illness comes treatment, and the medications prescribed to treat an illness often have side effects that make it more difficult to get “in the mood” or can even cause outright sexual dysfunctions. Take, for instance, diuretics and beta-blockers that are commonly prescribed for hypertension. Diuretics increase the kidneys' excretion of sodium and water, decreasing the volume of fluid in the bloodstream. This ultimately leads to dehydration and general dryness that makes lubrication and orgasm more difficult. Beta Blockers are designed to slow the heart rate, but have impotence (erectile dysfunction) listed as a potential side effect.
With men, the main sexual dysfunction experienced is erectile dysfunction. Some of the oral medications available at this time include sildenafil citrate (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis). Viagra was the first oral treatment approved to treat erectile dysfunction in the United States and was introduced in 1998. Prior to the success of oral medication, erectile dysfunction was difficult