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May 1990

Sexuality in Older Women

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Restorative Medicine and Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(5):1033-1038. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390170075017

• A host of biological and psychosocial factors play an important role in age-related changes of female sexuality. The most important of these are the availability of a sexually active partner and presence of concurrent illnesses. Some of the age-related changes in physiological indicators of sexual function, such as vaginal blood flow, are the result of estrogen deficiency, and as such are essentially reversible. Despite the inherent limitations of many studies in female sexuality, a significant degree of objective measurements has been reported in the literature. Future research should focus on developing appropriate techniques for quantitative estimation of sexual response in women. The need for love and sexual intimacy does not diminish with age, and sexual history should be part of the clinical evaluation of older patients.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1033-1038)