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Maturitas. 1991 Mar;13(1):43-50.

Sexuality in sexagenarian women.

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Department of Obstetrics, UMDNJ--Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08903.


Sexual behavior was examined in 59 healthy, post-menopausal women between 60 and 70 years of age. Subjects were interviewed by a psychologist, completed medical and sexual questionnaires and had a gynecologic exam and blood drawn for determination of estradiol, luteinizing hormone and total and free testosterone. Partners filled out a mail-back sexual questionnaire. Thirty-nine (66%) of the group were coitally active and twenty (34%) were abstinent. The coitally active group reported higher levels of sexual desire (P less than 0.03), greater sexual satisfaction (P less than 0.007), more comfort in expressing sexual preferences (P less than 0.009) and greater pre-menopausal sexual satisfaction (P less than 0.01) and on pelvic examination were noted to have less genital atrophy (P less than 0.0005) than the abstinent group. For the entire sample sexual complaints such as decreased desire and vaginal lubrication in the female and erectile difficulties in the male were reported frequently. Of the hormones studied, higher serum levels of free testosterone were associated with reports of increased sexual desire.

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