A new study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, reports women’s sexual satisfaction increases with age despite lower sexual desire. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System evaluated sexual activity and satisfaction as reported by approximately 800 older women who live in a planned community near San Diego and have been tracking and sharing their their health for medical research for the past 40 years.
The study measured a number of things including the prevalence of sexual activity, the characteristics associated with sexual activity including demographics, health, and hormone use, frequency of arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and pain during sexual intercourse, and sexual desire and satisfaction.
Women in the study had a median age of 67, and 63% of them were postmenopausal. Half of the respondents who reported having a partner had been sexually active in the last four weeks.
Most of the sexually active women said they were able to become aroused, maintain lubrication and achieve orgasm during sex, even after the age of 80. Interestingly, the percentage of women who described themselves as “sexually satisfied” increased with age. Almost half of the women over age 80 said they were always or almost always sexually satisfied.
The study, the first of its size focused exclusively on the sex lives of healthy women, is a shift from previous efforts which have centered on studying women with sexual dysfunction.