Senior Sex (cont.)

What Else May Cause Sexuality Problems?

Surgery. Many of us worry about having any kind of surgery - it is especially troubling when the genital area is involved. Happily, most people do return to the kind of sex life they enjoyed before having surgery.

Hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman's uterus. Often, when an older woman has a hysterectomy, the ovaries are also removed. The surgery can leave both women and men worried about their sex lives. If you're afraid that a hysterectomy will change your sex life, talk with your gynecologist or surgeon.

Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a woman's breast. This surgery may cause some women to lose their sexual interest or their sense of being desired or feeling feminine. In addition to talking with your doctor, sometimes it is useful to talk with other women who have had this surgery. Programs like the American Cancer Society's (ACS) "Reach to Recovery" can be helpful for both women and men. If you want your breast rebuilt (reconstruction), talk to your cancer doctor or surgeon.

Prostatectomy is surgery that removes all or part of a man's prostate because of cancer or an enlarged prostate. It may cause urinary incontinence or ED. If removal of the prostate gland is needed, talk to your doctor before surgery about your concerns.

Medications. Some drugs can cause sexual problems. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, diabetes drugs, and some ulcer drugs such as ranitidine (Zantac). Some can lead to impotence or make it hard for men to ejaculate. Some drugs can reduce a woman's sexual desire. Check with your doctor. She or he can often prescribe a different drug without this side effect.

Alcohol. Too much alcohol can cause erection problems in men and delay orgasm in women.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2013

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Senior Sex - Experience Question: Have you found your sex drive has decreased as you have aged?
Senior Sex - Emotions Question: In what ways have emotions affected your sex life as you've aged?
Senior Sex - Improvement Question: How have you and/or your partner worked to improve your sex life as you age?
Senior Sex - Safe Sex Question: If you're a sexually active senior, how do you practice safe sex?