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Contrary to what some may believe, most men and women don't lose their longing for togetherness or sex as they age. In fact, many seniors report that sexual experiences are enhanced with age. Just think of it. Although safe sex is still recommended for successful aging, there's no longer a need for contraception, and your kids probably won't interrupt your intimacy. And regular sexual activity helps maintain successful sexuality.

Considerations for Sexuality and Aging

Your Heart

Your doctor will advise you about resuming sexual relations following a heart attack. Usually, people are able to resume sexual activity about 12 to 16 weeks after a heart attack.


Diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain or sustain an erection adequate for satisfactory sexual intercourse. But erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated or corrected with devices and procedures.


Research indicates that a stroke rarely damages the body parts necessary for sexual functioning. It's also unlikely that having sex will lead to another stroke.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis can limit your sexual capabilities and some medicines to treat the condition can cause a loss of desire. Exercise, rest, warm baths and changes in position can help.


The removal of excess prostate tissue rarely affects potency. For men undergoing radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland), today's advanced surgical techniques can preserve the nerves going to the penis, which, in turn, can preserve the ability to have an erection.