I am over 50, do I really have to be concerned about STI? or do I really have to wear a condom with a new partner….I can’t get pregnant… (shocking statistics STI in people over 50.)

I am over 50. Do I really have to be concerned about STIs? 

Hey there, friend! Let’s talk about a topic that might not be at the forefront of your mind as you age – sexually transmitted infections (STIs). While it may seem like something that only young people need to worry about, the reality is that STIs can affect people of all ages, including those over 50.

To answer your question: yes, it’s still important to be concerned about STIs, even if you’re over 50. Do you have to wear a condom with a new partner even when you cannot become pregnant already? Yes again! STIs can still be transmitted through sexual contact and have serious health consequences.

Contrary to popular belief, age does not confer immunity to STIs. According to recent studies, the number of STI cases in people over 50 has been increasing. This is partly because many older adults are sexually active and may have multiple partners, but may not have been educated on the importance of safe sex practices.

Sexual health is important at any age but is often overlooked when it comes to older adults. Many people assume that sex is something that only young people need to worry about. Still, the reality is that sexual health is important for people of all ages, including those over 50. 

Sexual health over age 50 and surprising health benefits

First, let’s talk about the surprising health benefits of sex as we age. While many people assume that sex is no longer important or enjoyable as we get older, the reality is that a healthy sexual desire and physical intimacy can have several physical and mental health benefits. For example, regular sexual activity has been linked to improved cardiovascular health, better immune function, and reduced stress levels. Sex can also help improve mood, boost self-esteem, and increase feelings of intimacy and connection with our partner(s). In fact, many older adults report that they still enjoy a healthy sex life and that sex is an important part of their overall well-being. 

Sexual risk behaviors in seniors and why you’re more susceptible to STIs

However, in order to enjoy these benefits, it’s important to protect ourselves and our partner(s) from the spread of STIs. As we age, our bodies and our sexual health needs may change. Older adults are at risk for STIs because they may engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as having multiple partners or not using protection. This can lead to an increased susceptibility to STIs and other health issues such as urinary tract infections and even HIV. 

Additionally, changes in our bodies make us more susceptible to infection. For example, women may experience vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls, increasing the risk of infection. Men may experience erectile dysfunction, making it more difficult to use condoms. Seniors also have weakened immune systems compared to young people. Additionally, there is often a lack of education and awareness among couples in this age group about the risks associated with unprotected sex making them more susceptible to infections.

What are the odds of getting an STI (STD) over age 50? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rates of STIs are on the rise among older adults. In 2018, adults over 50 accounted for 26% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Rates of other STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are also increasing in this age group. 

The odds of getting an STI (STD) over age 50 vary depending on a variety of factors. For example, people who have had multiple sexual partners throughout their lifetime are at a higher risk of contracting an STI. Additionally, those who engage in unprotected sex, including oral sex, are also at an increased risk.

Other factors that may increase the likelihood of getting an STI (STD) include a weakened immune system, which is common in older adults, and certain medical conditions requiring medications that may lower immunity. Furthermore, those who have been divorced or widowed and are re-entering the dating scene may be less likely to use protection or discuss STIs with their partners.

What are the symptoms of STIs in older adults? 

Unfortunately, many STIs can be asymptomatic, meaning you may have an infection and not even know it. However, some common symptoms of STIs in older adults include:

  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • Burning or itching around the genitals
  • Painful urination
  • Sores, bumps, or rashes around the genitals

Even if you feel fine and have no visible symptoms, it’s important to get tested regularly for STIs when you are sexually active, regardless of age.

Counseling interventions to help increase awareness for safe sex as you age

Finally, counseling interventions can effectively increase awareness and promote safe sex among older adults. Couples counseling services can help you understand the importance of safe sex and how to prevent STIs. These services can include counseling on safe sex practices, STI testing, and treatment options if an STI is diagnosed. Additionally, counseling can help older adults feel more comfortable discussing their sexual health and desires with their partner(s), which can improve intimacy and communication.

Sexual health in a relationship is important at any age, and older adults must take steps to protect themselves and their partner(s) from the spread of STIs. Remember, you are never too old to protect yourself from STIs. By educating yourself and practicing safe sex, you can enjoy a healthy and fulfilling sex life well into your golden years. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your sexual health, don’t hesitate to ask for our help; as an experienced therapist helping couples throughout the Las Vegas area, I can provide you with a safe space to discuss it. To schedule a conversation, get in touch with me today.