Here's a conversation about the birds and the bees that won't make you uncomfortable, and in fact, it'll make you quite happy.
Sex: Not just good for relationships
A recent AARP bulletin reported on a new study from Coventry University published in Oxford Journals about sexual activity and memory care in senior citizens. The good news? Men and women over the age of 50 who were still sexually active scored higher on cognitive tests than those who were no longer engaging in sex. The researchers believe that sex increases the release of the hormones dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, which help make you feel happy. Lead author Hayley Wright emailed AARP her belief that the research revealed that loving relationships result in a healthy brain.
"The general consensus from scientific and medical research tends to be that what is good for your heart is good for your brain. So, it seems that a healthy and active lifestyle (and now, maybe, sex life) can help to keep our brain healthy in older age," Wright explained.
Wright's research also revealed differences in how sex affects men and women. Men were found to score higher on skills in sequencing and memory, whereas women tended to score better on memory. AARP explained that this is one of the first studies to show how sex and brain function makes for a healthier brain. Previously, researchers at the University of Maryland found that middle-aged rats that engaged in regular exposure to sex helped cell growth in the hippocampus, meaning they had better memories as well.
Overall, sex is just good plain fun. Health Day spoke with seniors about sex as they get older - 73 year old Louise Wellborn says she definitely feels the benefits of sex.
"Sex keeps you active and alive," Wellborn boasted.
But be careful! Yes, sex is amazing, but according to HealthinAging.com, the older you are, the more vulnerable you are to sexually transmitted diseases. The source recommended speaking with your health care provider, especially if you have not had a new partner in a while. This way, the doctor can assess your physical and sexual health to make sure you're clean and ready to go. Your new partner should do the same, and of course, always wear protection!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living