You may be getting older, but you don’t have to stop having sex. In fact, studies show the majority (67%) of men over the age of 57 have sex at least 2-3 times a month.
This positive statistic, though, has also led to a rise in sexual transmitted diseases among older men.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, the number of syphilis cases in 45-to-65 year-olds rose from around 900 in 2000, to over 2,500 by 2010.
In the same age group, 19,000 people were diagnosed with chlamydia in 2010.
Here’s a guide for how to stay safe in the bedroom:
Condoms aren’t just about pregnancy – they’re also the main way to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Some men might find condoms tricky to use if they’ve not worn them for some years, but there’s really nothing to fear – and it is well worth getting back in the habit.
Talking with your partner
Whether you’ve been with your partner for decades or are starting out on a new relationship, it’s always worth talking to them about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases – especially if you’ve had multiple partners in recent years.
While it can be awkward to broach the subject, it’ll be even more awkward having to explain to someone why they have syphilis.
Notice the symptoms
If you’re starting to have sex with multiple partners, or even just one new partner, you need to be up to date on what sexually transmitted infections to look out for and what the symptoms are.
Here are some to look for, their symptoms and treatments:
- Chlamydia – a burning sensation while urinating. Can be treated with antibiotics. Often symptomless.
- Genital warts – small fleshy growths on or around your genital or anal area. Treatments include creams and freezing the warts.
- Herpes – similar to cold sores with small, painful blisters or sores. Herpes cannot be cured but can be treated with antiviral medicines.
- Gonorrhoea – often is symptomless but can cause pain or burning when urinating, discharge from the tip of the penis or pain in the testicles. Can be treated with antibiotics.
- Syphilis – sores around genitals or mouth. Can be treated with antibiotics in the form of a penicillin injection.
- Pubic lice – symptoms could take several weeks to appear and will be in the form of itching and the appearance of lice or their eggs in your pubic hairs. Can be treated with special creams or shampoos.
If you are concerned that you might have one of these infections, your first course of action should be to get tested.
Testing can usually be done by your GP or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to get tested from the comfort of your own home, LloydsPharmacy provides a remote sexual health service which offers tests and treatments for the most common STIs.
For more information on STIs and the range of remote tests and treatments available, click here.
One further thing to bear in mind is that, if your partner has gone through the menopause, they might need added lubrication during sex.
You can apply this over your condom or directly onto your partner. Lubricants now come in many forms and can also include slight stimulants in them to make sex more enjoyable for both parties.