Baby Boomers and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Did you know that there has been an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in men and women over the age of 50? In fact, recent studies have shown that STDs in the 50 to 70 age group have increased 38 percent from 2014 to 2017. That’s right, it seems sexual intercourse is not dying as men and women get older. In fact, it seems that they might be having the most fun.


According to the CDC, in 2013, which was the last year they provided a report, people over 50 years old made up 21 percent of new HIV diagnoses. They also found that 27 percent made up new AIDS diagnoses.


So, what is causing the baby boomer generation to have more sex, and why are more men and women getting STDs than ever before?


Why the Increase?

There is no real way to determine why more baby boomers are victims of sexually transmitted diseases. There can be many causes such as increased divorce rate, modern healthcare, or they simply think they are too old to use protection.


With the help of modern healthcare, tiny pills are now helping older men perform better. Drugs, such as Viagra are increasing sex among older couples. Women are also using progesterone to help make intercourse more comfortable and exciting.


As men and women get older, the chance of pregnancy decreases. In fact, many post-menopausal women are not concerned with safe sex, which is a common problem. This can lead many people to believe that protection is not required. However, when you do not use protection you have a higher risk of getting an STD.


Retirement communities have also become a contributing factor to the increase in intercourse and STDs among older men and women. With over 50 communities, seniors are much more social with each other and can get to know many seniors in such a small area.


Another factor that can be contributing to the increase of STDs among the baby boomer generation is the increase in divorce rate. Studies have shown that couples older than 50 are twice as likely to get a divorce now than 20 years ago. Once a couple gets divorced, they might choose to have some fun with other men or women without thinking about the possibility of getting an STD.


Doctors also might not test for STDs or HIV because they assume their patient is not sexually active. The patient is less likely to ask their doctor for a test because of embarrassment or the thought that they are not likely to have an infection.


Are Seniors More Prone to Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

With age comes a weaker immune system, which can cause older people to become more prone to STDs. There are many age-related issues that men and women face such as heart problems, liver damage and other health problems. This can also lead to many STDs being undetected.


For many women, after menopause there is a dryness and thinning of vaginal tissue. This can increase the woman’s susceptibility to infection.


The symptoms of an STD vary based on the infection. However, common symptoms include rectal pain, painful urination and ejaculation, rash or blisters and itching. Other symptoms that might be less common are flu-like symptoms, fever and sore throat.


When an older patient visits the doctor with any of these symptoms, the doctor is not likely to test for an STD because of the patient’s age. This can cause the infection to go undetected for a long time, which can cause it to be passed on to another person through intercourse.


If a patient does not know he or she has a sexually transmitted disease, this can lead to other infections or health problems in the body because it is not being treated properly.



How to Prevent STDs Among the Baby Boomer Generation

When it comes to our parents or grandparents, the last thing they want is the “sex talk” from their children and grandchildren. However, it is important that they are educated about the risks of unprotected sex. They most likely lectured you as a youngster about the risks of intercourse.


For older men and women that they understand the importance of a safe sex and wearing a condom. Just because the risk of pregnancy has greatly decreased, protection from STDs is still required.


Baby boomers should also educate themselves on the various STDs, how they are transmitted and what the symptoms of these infections are. If you believe that you may have come in contact with an STD, it is important to discuss this with your doctor, receive proper testing and get the necessary treatment.


Another great advantage for seniors is Medicare’s free STD checkup. In the past, Medicare has stated that only 5 percent of seniors take advantage of their STD check. As a sexually active senior, with multiple partners, it is important that you get checked regularly, so that you can get the necessary treatment to fight these infections.


If you know any baby boomers who are sexually active, it is important to be sure that they are aware of the risks of doing so. They should know that condoms are not just for the young adults who wish to prevent pregnancy, but they should be used for all ages to avoid STDs.


If you are 50 years or older, it is important to discuss your sexual activity with your doctor. Make him or her aware of any health symptoms you may have that can be related to an STD. By doing so, he or she can check and, if necessary, treat your infection promptly.

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