Sexual function and activity in old age have been inadequately studied world over. It is important to know that aging processes are not confined to persons beyond the age of 60 years; many changes in elderly have their antecedents in the middle age. This study sought to determine the patterns of sexual activity and function in individuals over 50 years of age. It also sought to discuss barriers such as chronic illness that may interfere with sexual function. We conducted a study of subjects above the age of 50 years in various outpatient departments OPDs of a teaching municipal hospital in Mumbai, by interviewing 60 individuals who attended the OPDs, after taking their informed consent.
Physical causes of sexual problems Physical problems associated with hormonal Sexuality elderly women and acute and chronic illness become more prevalent later in life. Both these findings were statistically significant. Vaginal dryness or erection difficulties can be wrongly perceived as waning interest in sex, which can trigger feelings Sexuality elderly women rejection and resentment. Sexual disorders among elderly: An epidemiological study in South Indian rural population. Source of Support: Nil. When you're spending intimate time with your partner, share your thoughts about lovemaking. Sexuality Tantra nightclub website older age: Essential considerations for healthcare professionals.
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Clinicians tend to ignore this aspect of the lives of elders, who themselves can find sexual problems very difficult to talk about. The natural effects of aging dictate that a man needs more time and direct penile stimulation for an erection. Let me count the ways: Discovering great sex without intercourse. This worry can get in the way of enjoying a fulfilling sex life. Her vaginal walls can become thinner and Sexuality elderly women little stiffer. Int J Geriatr Free favorite fuck pics. Men in group II Some drugs can cause sexual problems. Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a woman's breast because of breast cancer. The task for these care providers is to accommodate to the changing needs of this older sexually active generation. Desire or libido Arousal excitement Orgasm Resolution. Sexuality in Later Life.
The term sexuality has many definitions.
- Verified by Psychology Today.
- Many people want and need to be close to others as they grow older.
- Aged Cunts
Fantasies can help rev up your sex life. Myths, on the other hand, can stop desire dead in its tracks. Such myths aren't the legends from classical history. They're the stories we tell ourselves and each other to support the notion that older people shouldn't, can't, and wouldn't want to have sex.
This type of myth, however, bears as little relationship to reality as do the fanciful sagas of ancient gods and goddesses.
Here are some examples of the most popular sexual myths and the myth-busting truths. The culture we live in exalts youth. Turn on the TV or open a magazine and you'll be barraged with images of supple skin, firm flesh, and lustrous locks. But if your mirror is reflecting a different picture these days, you may feel like the party is going on without you.
Sure, thinning hair, laugh lines, and a paunchy midriff are no picnic. But think back on what it was that made you attractive in your younger years. Was it your soulful brown eyes, your crooked smile, or maybe your infectious laugh? Chances are, those attributes are still as appealing as ever. In fact, a survey conducted by the AARP and Modern Maturity magazine revealed that the percentage of people age 45 and older who consider their partners physically attractive increases with age.
Whether it's the white-haired grandmother fussing with her knitting or the loveable old codger puffing on a pipe, society is inclined to desexualize older adults. When older adults do express their sexuality, it's often viewed with derision — for example, the stereotype of the "dirty old man.
People are living longer and remaining healthier. And they are more vigorous than ever before. Former president George H.
Bush went skydiving to celebrate his 75th birthday, John Glenn returned to space at age 77, and Carol Sing forged a new world record at 57 by becoming the oldest woman to swim the English Channel.
With this trend toward later-life vitality, why shouldn't seniors be allowed to cast off outdated and ill-fitting stereotypes in order to express their normal, healthy sexual appetites? The myth: Men and women lose their ability to perform sexually after a certain age. Vaginal dryness and erectile difficulties loom large as you hurtle past You may be feeling that you should just listen to what your body is trying to tell you: Sex is a thing of the past. While a certain degree of physical change is unavoidable, this fact of life doesn't necessarily translate into insurmountable sexual problems.
For men, the Viagra revolution means most erection problems can be corrected with little medical intervention. For women, high-tech vaginal lubricants and hormone creams and rings are viable substitutes for what nature no longer supplies. What's important for both sexes to remember, though, is that a softer erection, reduced natural lubrication, or a less intense orgasm doesn't mean you're no longer interested in your partner or in sex itself.
For many couples, these kinds of changes provide an impetus for developing a new, rich, and satisfying style of lovemaking — one that's based more on extended foreplay and less on intercourse and orgasm. Drooping libido, slower rates of arousal, and the predictability of having the same partner for 20 or more years all add up to a ho-hum sex life.
While it's true that a year-old will have a faster, harder erection and a more forceful ejaculation than his year-old counterpart, it doesn't mean the quality of the experience is necessarily better. On the contrary, the older man has better control of his ejaculations. Less penile sensitivity means he may be able to enjoy a wider range of erotic sensations and maintain his erection longer. And his experience may pay off in improved sexual technique and a better understanding of what will please his partner.
Many women begin to find sexual confidence in their 30s, and this blossoms with maturity. As a woman moves through her 40s, her orgasms actually become more intense, and she can still have multiple orgasms. After menopause, when she's free of any worry about pregnancy, she can give herself over to the pure enjoyment of sex. Although longtime partners do have to contend with issues of familiarity in their relationship, these problems can be offset by greater emotional intimacy and trust. Because inhibitions often lessen with age, sex at 50 or 60 may include a level of experimentation and playfulness you wouldn't have dreamed of in your younger years.
In , Modern Maturity magazine and the AARP foundation polled 1, adults age 45 and older about the role sex played in their lives.
The findings paint a detailed picture of sexuality at midlife and later. Over all, the majority of men But an even higher percentage At age 75, the proportion dropped to one in four. Still, nearly three-quarters of respondents of all ages had intercourse once a month or more, provided they had partners. However, when the group was examined as a whole, one out of five men and two out of five women had not participated in any form of sexual touching or caressing over the last six months.
Men tended to think about sex and feel sexual desire more frequently than women. While rates of intercourse were similar for both sexes, more men than women reported engaging in sexual touching. Self-s timulation on a regular basis was also about eight times higher among men. Not surprisingly, one of the major factors associated with respondents' satisfaction was the availability of a partner. In the 45—59 age group, roughly four out of five individuals had partners; by comparison, only one in five women over 75 had partners.
Declining health also appeared to have an effect on sexual activity and satisfaction. On a list of features that might improve their sexual satisfaction, the men ranked better health for themselves or their partners at the top. Although impotence emerged as a significant issue for nearly a quarter of the men, less than half of those men had ever sought medical treatment for the problem.
While the initial prerequisites for sexual activity are physiological — functional sex organs, adequate hormone levels, and freedom from healt h conditions that interfere with the body's ability to respond to erotic cues — these elements don't guarantee sexual satisfaction.
Stress, anxiety, self-esteem issues, negative past experiences, lifestyle demands, loss of loved ones, and relationship conflicts can weigh heavily.
During midlife and beyond, these factors, combined with naturally occurring physical changes, can make you vulnerable to sexual problems. It may seem obvious that not having a partner is an impediment to an active sex life, but it's an especially important issue for older people. By age 65, many people find themselves alone, through either divorce or widowhood.
This affects sexuality in a variety of ways. The partner gap is a particular problem for American women because their average life span 79 years is more than five years longer than that of men. Because American women marry men who are on average three years older, that can mean even more time alone. Should a woman want to remarry, her chance of finding a new mate in her age bracket dwindles yearly; there is an average of only 7 men for every 10 women age 65 and above.
All this boils down to the fact that, compared with men, women are likely to live a greater portion of their lives without a mate. Finally, starting a new sexual relationship after divorce or the death of a spouse can present its own dilemmas.
People often fear that they will not become aroused or be able to have an orgasm with a different partner. They also may be self-conscious about baring their body in front of someone new. Because a new relationship may come along months or years after their last sexual relationship, some individuals feel anxious that they have "forgotten how to have sex" or that "the equipment doesn't work anymore.
Tension in a relationship can be deadly to a couple's sex life. In many cases, conflict is at the root of a sexual problem. Other times, a sexual issue strains a couple's ability to get along. The following issues are often connected to sexual problems. Anger and frustration. Accumulated anger, hurt, disappointment, and resentment can fester, destroying closeness between partners. These pent-up feelings often extinguish the flames of desire. For men, anger and frustration can interfere with arousal and getting an erection.
Likewise, the breakdown of trust can be devastating to a woman's ability to reach orgasm. Both partners can suffer loss of libido in a conflict-ridden environment. This type of disappointment turns toxic when one or both partners resort to criticism and defensiveness — two of the major harbingers of divorce.
In addition, one member of the couple may unconsciously withhold sex as a way of expressing anger or to maintain the upper hand in a situation where he or she feels otherwise powerless. Poor communication. Communication is essential for partners to build the trust needed for a successful sexual relationship. By talking frankly about your feelings, you can foster acceptance and understanding in your relationship. This makes it easier for you and your partner to collaborate on finding solutions to issues, and it can prevent resentments from piling up.
When conversation breaks down, anger and resentment are likely to build. Dialogue is especially vital as physical changes take place. Vaginal dryness or erection difficulties can be wrongly perceived as waning interest in sex, which can trigger feelings of rejection and resentment. By articulating feelings, couples can sort out the physiological factors from the emotional and relationship issues, and address each appropriately. Once the honeymoon is over, almost every couple has to contend with boredom sooner or later.
The person who was once so electrifyingly mysterious to you may become as comfortable — and as alluring — as an old shoe. While the deep trust and intimacy created from years of shared experiences are the building blocks of a truly loving relationship, such familiarity can take the edge off desire. Sex may not even seem worth the trouble when you're facing the same old lovemaking routines.
When sexual activity wanes, other types of physical affection often fade, too. This lack of physical connection can extend the emotional distance between you and your partner. As a result, it's all the more difficult to resume sexual intimacy later on. But it's possible to do so. One frequent motivator for a person to have an affair is a quest for newness. This yearning may arise from a need to banish midlife drudgery, a desire to find out what sex is like with someone else, or an urge to recapture the heart-pounding sexual highs of youth.
Other times, an individual searches out a new partner to meet unfulfilled emotional or intellectual needs.
Corresponding to this finding, women in our study reported decreased vaginal lubrication which pointed to an important age-related change in the physiology in women,[ 28 ] that may be responsible for painful intercourse, if the vaginal walls become excessively thin. What are your concerns? It is frequently assumed that elder persons lose their sexual desires or that they are physically unable to perform. Older people engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time for a variety of reasons. An affair can be a serious, sometimes fatal, blow to a relationship. It also increases vaginal elasticity, leading to greater comfort with sex in the future. Mature Redhead Does Anal Duration:
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Both partners can suffer loss of libido in a conflict-ridden environment. This type of disappointment turns toxic when one or both partners resort to criticism and defensiveness — two of the major harbingers of divorce. In addition, one member of the couple may unconsciously withhold sex as a way of expressing anger or to maintain the upper hand in a situation where he or she feels otherwise powerless.
Poor communication. Communication is essential for partners to build the trust needed for a successful sexual relationship. By talking frankly about your feelings, you can foster acceptance and understanding in your relationship.
This makes it easier for you and your partner to collaborate on finding solutions to issues, and it can prevent resentments from piling up. When conversation breaks down, anger and resentment are likely to build. Dialogue is especially vital as physical changes take place. Vaginal dryness or erection difficulties can be wrongly perceived as waning interest in sex, which can trigger feelings of rejection and resentment.
By articulating feelings, couples can sort out the physiological factors from the emotional and relationship issues, and address each appropriately. Once the honeymoon is over, almost every couple has to contend with boredom sooner or later. The person who was once so electrifyingly mysterious to you may become as comfortable — and as alluring — as an old shoe. While the deep trust and intimacy created from years of shared experiences are the building blocks of a truly loving relationship, such familiarity can take the edge off desire.
Sex may not even seem worth the trouble when you're facing the same old lovemaking routines. When sexual activity wanes, other types of physical affection often fade, too. This lack of physical connection can extend the emotional distance between you and your partner.
As a result, it's all the more difficult to resume sexual intimacy later on. But it's possible to do so. One frequent motivator for a person to have an affair is a quest for newness. This yearning may arise from a need to banish midlife drudgery, a desire to find out what sex is like with someone else, or an urge to recapture the heart-pounding sexual highs of youth.
Other times, an individual searches out a new partner to meet unfulfilled emotional or intellectual needs. An affair sometimes occurs because of sexual dysfunction in the marriage. For example, men who have erection difficulties or women who can't reach orgasm may seek out new lovers to prove that the sexual problem is their spouse's doing, not their own. Likewise, the partners of those with sexual difficulties may try to seek reassurance that they're still sexually appealing in the arms of someone else.
The reverberations of an affair can extend throughout a couple's relationship like ripples on a pond. Sometimes the straying partner isn't able to respond sexually to his or her spouse because of guilt over the affair, fatigue from juggling two sexual relationships, or a negative comparison of the spouse with the new lover. If the spouse discovers the affair, he or she may withdraw emotionally. An affair can be a serious, sometimes fatal, blow to a relationship.
However, it's possible for a marriage not only to survive infidelity, but also to grow from this painful expe rience. To do this, though, both partners must face the personal and relationship issues that led to the affair in the first place. Couples therapy is a good place to turn for help in doing this. Sex therapy can also be useful if the affair has caused or resulted from sexual problems.
In the years since the famous "little blue pill" entered the market in March , millions of couples have seen firsthand what this drug can and can't do. In many cases, Viagra sildenafil citrate is the answer to a prayer for men who have been unable to have an erection. But the drug offers no help in untangling the emotional and relationship pressures that frequently accompany erectile dysfunction.
For one thing, Viagra only works if there is desire to have sex. If emotional issues are impinging on libido, the pill won't help.
It's important that the partner of a man who has begun taking Viagra understands this. During a long bout with erectile dysfunction, many women blame themselves for their partner's inability to perform.
When Viagra comes onto the scene, the woman may find it hard to let go of past feelings of rejection. She may mistakenly assume that her husband's newfound erections are merely a chemical phenomenon, not an outgrowth of sexual attraction to her.
When intercourse is suddenly a possibility again, relationship issues can sprout up or resurface. For example, dramatic differences in libido sometimes emerge.
Also, a woman can develop problems related to vaginal atrophy if she hasn't had sex in a long time. She may need to undergo a few weeks of therapy using medication or dilators before she can comfortably resume intercourse. The bottom line is that couples should try to regard Viagra as an opportunity to become erotic again, while realizing that it is neither a mandate to have intercourse nor a panacea for every problem in the bedroom. Defined as an overwhelming concern about sexual performance that obscures pleasure and leads to sexual dysfunction, performance anxiety is a particularly insidious issue affecting aging couples.
Performance anxiety becomes a particular problem for men as they move into their 50s. It's the most common psychological contributor to erectile dysfunction. Here's how the problem often develops. The natural effects of aging dictate that a man needs more time and direct penile stimulation for an erection. Medications and cardiovascular disease may also contribute to erection difficulties. If a man continues to expect the instantaneous rock-hard erections of his 20s, he may equate this change in his physical response with the end of his virility.
Once he makes this erroneous leap, the problem snowballs. After a few incidences of erection failure, embarrassment and feelings of defeat leave him unwilling to try again. He may withdraw from all forms of intimacy to avoid having to perform. In turn, his partner feels rejected and fears that she's no longer attractive enough to sexually excite him.
She may also suspect him of having an affair. If this happens, the woman may shy away from touching her partner sexually out of fear that another failure will occur. Paradoxically, her reticence denies the man just the type of direct stimulation that he needs at this stage of life to achieve an erection.
The result is that an addressable physical issue becomes a morass of anger, resentment, and frustration. Women, too, can experience performance anxiety. Frank discussion of sexuality has become commonplace in women's magazines and on daytime television. This openness has had the unintended consequence of making some women worry that they do not respond quickly or intensely enough to be considered a "good lover. Relationship conflicts can ensue. When one partner needs constant reassurance about his or her attractiveness and becomes overly sensitive to perceived criticism, it can foster mutual resentment.
What's more, the percentage increased with age. By shifting your focus away from your perceived flaws to your attributes — for example, your eyes or your hair — you can boost your self-esteem and establish your own standards for attractiveness.
Also, try directing your attention to the experience of giving and receiving pleasure during sex. This can help you find the confidence to give yourself over to the experience. Great sex is often the outgrowth of a deep emotional connection — something that's not guaranteed by having a perfect body. A negative self-image isn't always rooted in your appearance. Career setbacks or other disappointments can lead to feelings of failure and depression, both of which sap desire. For men, episodes of impotence can undercut confidence in their manhood.
No matter what its cause, a poor self-image can take a toll on your sex life. When performance anxiety develops as a result, it can spark a downward spiral of repeated sexual failure and diminishing self-esteem. Correcting this problem demands serious attention to its origin.
Because feelings of low self-worth are a symptom of depression, you should talk to a doctor if the problem persists. For example, women and men — particularly those who came of age before the so-called sexual revolution in the '60s — may cling to the notion that it is improper for "nice girls" to enjoy sex. This belief can be damaging for both partners. A woman who has merely acquiesced to sex as a duty to her husband or as a necessary step in childbearing may feel uncomfortable seeking sexual pleasure.
Her partner may interpret this lack of enthusiasm as a reflection of her feelings about him. Inexperience and embarrassment over discussing sexual matters may hamper people from fully expressing themselves sexually. For example, intercourse alone does not give many women the kind of stimulation they need for fulfilling sex, and uneasiness about discussing the problem prevents some couples from developing techniques that could offer the woman greater pleasure.
Compounding the problem, childhood taboos against masturbation may prevent a woman from ever discovering the means to her sexual pleasure, so she's unable to direct her partner in this regard. It may be more comfortable for a woman to forgo her own pleasure than to confront these matters. She may ultimately resort to faking orgasms rather than risk asking for a different approach to lovemaking. When this pattern exists for years, revealing the truth would mean admitting to a longstanding deception, which could shake the trust in the relationship and injure her partner's self-esteem.
Alternately, a man may feel his self-worth depends on his ability to please his partner. His focus during sex, therefore, is on performing rather than succumbing to pleasure.
If his partner doesn't immediately respond to his efforts, feelings of inadequacy can pervade the relationship, eroding the couple's bond. This dynamic can ultimately lead to performance anxiety and related sexual problems. During the early years of a couple's relationship, such missed connections are often masked by priorities outside the bedroom, such as building a marriage, raising a family, and launching a career.
However, midlife may prove to be a turning point. Upon reaching menopause, the long-unsatisfied woman might greet the physical changes in her body as a sign that her sexual duties are fulfilled.
If her husband is still interested in sex, a conflict is likely to erupt. A much more hopeful scenario is also possible. Midlife and later may be a time when a woman's sexuality blossoms. Menopause means that women no longer have to worry about pregnancy.
Often, children are grown and family responsibilities have eased, allowing a couple to engage in more relaxed and spontaneous lovemaking. In addition, the changes a man is experiencing during these years, such as slower erections and longer time before ejaculation, lend themselves to the kind of pleasurable play that a woman may have been missing out on before.
For a couple wishing to embark on the more positive course, the key is to begin to unravel negative patterns. To do this, you must open up a dialogue. It's also important to resist succumbing to unproductive beliefs about aging and sex.
Stress and fatigue are major libido sappers. During midlife, stress can hit from any direction and take any form. Challenging teenagers, financial worries, aging parents, and career woes are common. Concern over your own health or that of a loved one, or general anxiety about aging can also weigh heavily.
With so many demands on your time and attention, you and your partner may neglect to nurture your relationship. This inattention can cause your sexual connection to fray as well. Sheer lack of time is often a major factor. The physical changes in sexual response that occur in both men and women as they age mean that it will take you and your partner more time to become aroused and reach orgasm than it did in your younger years.
Chronic pain. Pain can interfere with intimacy between older people. Chronic pain does not have to be part of growing older and can often be treated. But, some pain medicines can interfere with sexual function.
Always talk with your doctor if you have side effects from any medication. Some people with dementia show increased interest in sex and physical closeness , but they may not be able to judge what is appropriate sexual behavior. Those with severe dementia may not recognize their spouse or partner, but they still desire sexual contact and may seek it with someone else. It can be confusing and difficult to know how to handle this situation.
Here, too, talking with a doctor, nurse, or social worker with training in dementia care may be helpful. This is one of the illnesses that can cause ED in some men. In most cases, medical treatment can help. Less is known about how diabetes affects sexuality in older women.
Women with diabetes are more likely to have vaginal yeast infections, which can cause itching and irritation and make sex uncomfortable or undesirable. Yeast infections can be treated. Heart disease.
Narrowing and hardening of the arteries can change blood vessels so that blood does not flow freely. As a result, men and women may have problems with orgasms.
For both men and women, it may take longer to become aroused, and for some men, it may be difficult to have or maintain an erection. People who have had a heart attack, or their partners, may be afraid that having sex will cause another attack. Even though sexual activity is generally safe, always follow your doctor's advice. If your heart problems get worse and you have chest pain or shortness of breath even while resting, your doctor may want to change your treatment plan.
Loss of bladder control or leaking of urine is more common as people, especially women, grow older. Extra pressure on the belly during sex can cause loss of urine. This can be helped by changing positions or by emptying the bladder before and after sex.
The good news is that incontinence can usually be treated. The ability to have sex is sometimes affected by a stroke. A change in positions or medical devices may help people with ongoing weakness or paralysis to have sex.
Some people with paralysis from the waist down are still able to experience orgasm and pleasure. Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy, such as intimacy and sexual activity, can be a symptom of depression. It's sometimes hard to know if you're depressed. Talk with your doctor. Depression can be treated. Many of us worry about having any kind of surgery—it may be even more troubling when the breasts or genital area are involved.
Most people do return to the kind of sex life they enjoyed before surgery. Hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman's uterus because of pain, bleeding, fibroids, or other reasons. Often, when an older woman has a hysterectomy, the ovaries are also removed. Deciding whether to have this surgery can leave both women and their partners worried about their future sex life.
If you're concerned about any changes you might experience with a hysterectomy, talk with your gynecologist or surgeon. Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a woman's breast because of breast cancer. This surgery may cause some women to lose their sexual interest, or it may leave them feeling less desirable or attractive to their partners.
In addition to talking with your doctor, sometimes it is useful to talk with other women who have had this surgery. Programs like the American Cancer Society's " Reach to Recovery " can be helpful for both women and men. If you want your breast rebuilt reconstruction , talk to your cancer doctor or surgeon. Prostatectomy is surgery that removes all or part of a man's prostate because of cancer or an enlarged prostate.
It may cause urinary incontinence or ED. If you need this operation, talk with your doctor before surgery about your concerns. Some drugs can cause sexual problems. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, Parkinson's disease or cancer medications, appetite suppressants, drugs for mental problems, and ulcer drugs.
Some can lead to ED or make it hard for men to ejaculate. Some drugs can reduce a woman's sexual desire or cause vaginal dryness or difficulty with arousal and orgasm. Check with your doctor to see if there is a different drug without this side effect. Too much alcohol can cause erection problems in men and delay orgasm in women. Age does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Older people who are sexually active may be at risk for diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, genital herpes, hepatitis B, genital warts, and trichomoniasis.
To protect yourself, always use a condom during sex that involves vaginal or anal penetration. Talk with your doctor about ways to protect yourself from all sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Go for regular checkups and testing. Talk with your partner. You are never too old to be at risk. Sexuality is often a delicate balance of emotional and physical issues.
How you feel may affect what you are able to do and what you want to do. Many older couples find greater satisfaction in their sex lives than they did when they were younger.
In many cases, they have fewer distractions, more time and privacy, no worries about getting pregnant, and greater intimacy with a lifelong partner. As we age, our bodies change, including our weight, skin, and muscle tone, and some older adults don't feel as comfortable in their aging bodies.
Older adults, men and women alike, may worry that their partners will no longer find them attractive. Aging-related sexual problems like the ones listed above can cause stress and worry.
WHO | Sexual health in older women
The most important of these are the availability of a sexually active partner and presence of concurrent illnesses. Some of the age-related changes in physiological indicators of sexual function, such as vaginal blood flow, are the result of estrogen deficiency, and as such are essentially reversible. Despite the inherent limitations of many studies in female sexuality, a significant degree of objective measurements has been reported in the literature.
Future research should focus on developing appropriate techniques for quantitative estimation of sexual response in women. The need for love and sexual intimacy does not diminish with age, and sexual history should be part of the clinical evaluation of older patients. Mooradian AD, Greiff V. Sexuality in Older Women. Arch Intern Med. All Rights Reserved.
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