The importance of safe sex into your senior years

Feb 24, 2012, 8:11 a.m.

Let's face it. The simple fact that you're wondering whether or not you should worry about safe sex is clear indication that it's something to still consider, regardless of how old you are. Sexually active seniors are no more or less prone to contracting sexually transmitted diseases than people half their age, therefore it makes perfect sense to continue to be cautious well into your sunset years. Here are a few facts that you may not have known that underline the critical importance of safe sex for seniors.

Age is no protector. Just because you've managed to sail through the majority of your life free and clear of sexually transmitted diseases doesn't mean you suddenly can't pick one up late in life.

Women remain fertile even as they're entering menopause. As menopause gets closer, a woman's menstrual cycles can become irregular, but this doesn't mean that she can't get pregnant. If you're a sexually active senior and you're concerned about the possibility of pregnancy, discuss the issue with your doctor.

10 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the United States are over the age of 50, bringing to light the very real threat that's still out there and underlining the importance of safe sex for seniors.

Having only one partner doesn't mean you won't acquire an STD. If you're recently divorced or widowed and you've started dating again, don't think that simply because you're only physically involved with one person that you're not at risk for a broad range of diseases including HIV, HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and genital warts.

If there's one thing that doesn't discriminate for age, it's sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually active seniors need to bear this in mind. Remember, wearing a condom isn't just a young person's duty. It's something that every sexually active person should think about, regardless of their age.

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