Background Sexuality has become a medical issue in association
with aging. This is due to a number of factors, including
increasing age of survival, a positive societal construct that
promotes sexuality as important for quality of life as we
age, and the medicalisation of sexuality with the advent of
prescription medications to treat sexual dysfunction.
Objective This article reviews the factors surrounding aging and
sexuality and also considers special situations with age,
such as institutionalised care and the possibility of elder
Discussion Normal physiological changes with aging affect both
genders in terms of sexual desire and performance. Other
medical conditions increase with age, and these and their
treatments will impact on sexuality and the way it can be
expressed. Medical practitioners require an understanding
of these changes in order to find ways to optimise sexual
function in older patients.
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