History of STD Affects Sexual Satisfaction Later in Life

Aug 14, 2008
Having an earlier experience of sexually transmitted disease may predict sexual dysfunction problems for men and women later in life.

History of STD roughly quadruples a woman's chances of having painful intercourse and triples lubrication problems, a new study say. Men are also five times more likely to have unsatisfying sex life if they had an STD in the past.

The study funded by the National Institutes of Health also revealed that men and women, having the history of STD, were also more likely to have multiple partners and more risky sexual experiences.

Scientists say that sexual dysfunction is not inevitable for older people as healthy people can expect to enjoy satisfying sex lives well into their 80's. It's not the ageing that plays an important role, but other factors like sexually transmitted diseases, physical and mental health and relationships problems, the study says.

The study included the interviews with a national sample of 1,550 women and 1,455 men, ages 57 to 85, taking part in the 2005 to 2006 National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. The survey included information on a wide range of topics such as social life, sexuality, health, and a great number of biological measures.

Edward Laumann, the George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at the University, and the leading author of the study was joined by University researcher Aniruddha Das, and Linda Waite, the Lucy Flower Professor in Sociology at the University.

According to the findings, women are more likely than men to experience sexual dysfunction because of health problems. Erectile dysfunction was the most common problem leading to the decline in sex life for men.

For both men and women, urinary tract syndromewas a common factor that led to lack of interest in sex. For men, relationships problems and mental health issuesalso contributed to lack of interest in sex and troubles to achieve orgasm.

Drinking alcohol daily was found to improve woman's sexual satisfaction and interest in sex, while in men daily alcohol consumption did not have the same effect.

The study also revealed that demographic and cultural factors also affected sexual performance. Hispanic women were twice as likely to report about painful intercourse, while black men were twice as likely to report they weren't interested in sex and more likely to report about climaxing too early.

"Don't assume that because you're older, your sex life has to be gone. If you're healthy and connected to someone, and you've had a pretty good sex life when you're younger, then you can have a pretty good sex life in old age." said Dr. Virginia Sadock, director of the program of human sexuality at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.