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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: August 2009

5 - Sexual health

from Part I - Health promotion

Summary

Sexuality is an important part of one's health, quality of life, and general wellbeing. Risks to sexual health can include unplanned pregnancy, the physiologic changes of transition into and through menopause and with aging, the increased probability of chronic illness and its medical and surgical treatment, abuse in any form, and sexually transmitted infections. This chapter reviews the sexual health of mid-life women, presenting results from available studies. Dihydroepiandrosterones (DHEA) was shown to be the only hormone associated positively with general well being in a study of 141 women aged 40-60. Women in this age group underestimate their risk for sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and this represents one of the more rapidly growing demographics for sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Clinicians are encouraged to raise the topic of sexual health and to assist mid-life women as they make their transitions through menopause, and with aging partners.
FURTHER RESOURCES
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists: http://www.aasect.org
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US: http://www.siecus.org
Gay and Lesbion Medical Association (GLMA): http://www.glma.org
AARP/Modern Maturity Sexuality Study: http://research.aarp.org/health/mmsexsurvey_1.htm
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