Old Age sex
Key findings from the May 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging report, on sexual health after age 65 (University of Michigan) University of Michigan

A new study conducted by the researchers at the University of Michigan has found that 40 percent of people aged between 65 to 80 are sexually active. The study titled 'National Poll on Healthy Ageing' revealed that three-quarters of people in this age group have a romantic partner, and 54 percent of them used to engage in sexual acts.

Age is just a number

More than two-thirds of the participants involved in the study revealed that they are interested in sex, while more than half of the participants said that sex is very vital to improving the quality of lives.

The study found a contrast in attitude between men and women when it comes to the vitality of sex in daily life as 84 percent older men agreed that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship at any age, but only 69 percent women consider sex vital for a fruitful relationship.

During the survey, researchers found that 18 percent of older men and 3 percent of older women have taken medications to improve their sexual life in the past two years.

However, it should be noted that only 17 percent of older adults have talked to their physicians regarding sexual health in the past two years.

"Sexual health among older adults doesn't get much attention but is linked closely to the quality of life, health and well-being. It's important for older adults and the clinicians who care for them to talk about these issues and about how age-related changes in physical health, relationships, lifestyles and responsibilities such as caregiving, affect them," says Erica Solway, co-associate director of the poll.

The vitality of seeking medical aid

The study report also suggested that older adults should start talking with their healthcare providers regarding sexual life.

"Older adults should be encouraged to speak with their providers about concerns and questions related to their sexual health. Those who had these discussions reported that they felt comfortable doing so, even if they did not initiate the conversation," writes the study report.