By Hoda Nassef & Dr. Gamal
First, this article is meant only for MARRIED couples. So, please be sure that you are over 21 (now I will get you reading this...haha) and seriously, that you are not reading this with a young child.
Second, I have heard the expression, 'Use it, or lose it' many times before, but used in different contexts and for various other reasons. However, I will now use this expression for something vital in a healthy marriage: sex. This not only keeps you close to your spouse and strengthens your marriage, but also keeps infidelity at bay. Romance is GREAT, but let's face it, most men are simply not really romantic and prefer to get physical. On the good side, routine or not routine, sex also keeps you physically fit! But not if you 'practice' it only once a month.... If you have a good sexual relationship with your partner, chances are that you will have a long marriage, even it the rest of it is not so great!
Third, just as exercise is the key to maintaining fitness, having sex on a regular basis is the best way to maintain sexual capacity.
And just as it's never too late start an exercise program, it's never too late to start having sex!
Many older people who have been celibate for years develop satisfying sexual practices within new loving relationships. For others, self-stimulation is common and poses no health risks or side effects.
Here are some additional considerations:
· To enhance sexual response, use more foreplay and direct contact with sexual organs.
· The mind is the primary erogenous zone. Fantasy and imagination help arouse some people. Try setting the mood with candelight and soft music, or whatever else "turns you on."
· Many medications, especially high blood pressure medications, tranquilizers, and some heart medications, inhibit sexual response. Ask your doctor about these side effects. Your doctor may be able to reduce your dosage or prescribe different medications.
. Do not stop taking prescription medications without consulting your doctor first.
· If sex has become uncomfortable because of vaginal dryness, try a water-based vaginal lubricant such as Astroglide, K-Y Jelly, or Replens to reduce the irritation. Do not use petroleum jelly. A doctor can also prescribe a vaginal cream containing estrogen, which will help reverse the changes in the vaginal tissues.
· Colostomies, mastectomies, and other procedures that involve changes in physical appearance need not put an end to sexual pleasure. Communicating openly about your fears and expectations can bring you and your partner closer together and help you overcome barriers. If necessary, counseling for both of you can help you adjust.
· People who have heart conditions can enjoy full, satisfying sexual lives. Most doctors recommend that you abstain from sex for only a brief time following a heart attack. If you have angina, ask your doctor about taking nitroglycerin before you have sex. Do not take sildenafil citrate (Viagra) if you are using nitroglycerin.
· If arthritis keeps you from enjoying sex, experiment with different positions. Try placing cushions under the hips. Also try home treatment for arthritis pain. For more information, see the topic Osteoarthritis.
· For those who drink alcohol: Drink alcohol only in moderation. Small amounts may heighten sexual responsiveness by lowering inhibitions. Larger amounts may increase sexual desire but decrease sexual performance.
· Prescription medications that enhance the sexual response, such as sildenafil citrate (Viagra) for men and testosterone for women, are available. Some people find that herbs such as ginkgo biloba and ginseng enhance their sexual function. Both prescription and herbal remedies carry the risk of side effects. Your health professional can help you decide whether any of these options are right for you.
Have a happy, healthy, long ....sexy....marriage!