Finding Sexual Health Information
Published on 22 March 2019 02:59 PM
Where Can Older People Find Sexual Health Information?
Perceptions of a sexually inactive older generation has led health bosses to dismiss the sexual health problems faced by those over fifty.There have been calls nation-wide for an improvement into the sexual health services and advice available for the so-called ‘silver singles’, and Age, Sex, and You, launched at the beginning of this year, is the first website in the UK dedicated to advise older people on concerns surrounding sex and intimacy.
In 2017, a report from ELSA found that over 80% of those aged between 50-90 were still sexually active. Such maintained sex lives have previously been linked with healthier aging processes, but the UK has also seen a recent rise in the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) found in older people.
Medical professionals have suggested that because of minimised risk of pregnancy within older women, individuals in the older generation are foregoing the use of sexual protection devices, such as condoms and dental dams, when engaging in sexual relationships. As a result, STI diagnosis in people aged 50-70 has risen by a third in recent years. Statistics from Public Health England show that the amount of men aged 65+ diagnosed with gonorrhoea in 2017 was almost a quarter higher than the year before, and within the same timeframe, a quarter more women aged 65+ were diagnosed with herpes.
Many have suggested that the less comprehensive sex education lessons often offered to the over fifties during their school days means they may not be aware of the symptoms or dangers of STIs, and that even when these are recognised, common stereotypes which present older people as non-intimate and sexless mean they too are reluctant or embarrassed to go to the doctors with their issues.
In Derbyshire, a new campaign launched last month, “Jiggle, Wiggle”, plans to combat the crisis through making condoms more readily available to older people at GP surgeries, as well as community venues and foodbanks. More recently, there have been calls from local Counsellors in Durham to provide a more inclusive sexual health system for older people.
Age, Sex, and You, launched at the beginning of this year by researchers at the university of Sheffield, is the first website in the UK dedicated to provide the older generation with advice on sex and intimacy, as well as information on topics ranging from erectile dysfunction to how one might engage in sex with a disability.
In addition to this, North Tyneside council lists a range of different clinics providing sexual health services across the region. Any information regarding a visit to these clinics will be kept confidential – details about tests or treatments you receive there will not be shared with anyone outside of sexual health services, including your GP, without your permission.