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Sexuality and Menopause, a Belgian Study

DOI: 10.4236/asm.2011.11001    4,650 Downloads   10,382 Views  

ABSTRACT

Aim: Until the 1980s, due largely to prejudice, post-menopausal women were believed to experience significantly less sexual desire and thus to have sexual intercourse less often than before menopause. Since the 1990s, this type of prejudices seems to have decreased. The aim of our study is to examine the sexuality of post-menopausal women by comparing it to same aged men’s sexual behaviour and the importance of sexuality in their life. Methods: A sample of 1,526 women and 1,151 men aged 55 and over. Results: Female subjects reported having sexual intercourse as often as women in the general population (once a week for 64% of them). The same proportion of women as men consider that a successful sexual life: is essential for a successful couple life (90%), needs continuous creativity (80%), has a deep positive impact on their well-being (87%). For most of them (82%), a satisfying sex life is possible only if there is a deep love relationship. 55% say they have never met sexual problems. The main complaints cited are vaginal dryness (45%) and a lack of desire (42%). Only 20% of those who had sexual problems report that age and time passing by are responsible for their troubles. In second place, they mention stress (19%), followed by relationship problems, and nervous breakdown (13%). Conclusion: Our study suggests that nowadays, there is no marked difference between post-menopausal women and men’s sexuality either in terms of frequency, or in terms of its importance in their life. Whenever physical problems linked to sexuality arise, they are more often attributed to stress added to relationship problems rather than to ageing. This study shows once again how sexuality is influenced by prejudices.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

N. Zdanowicz, D. Jacques, D. Tordeurs, P. Schepens and C. Reynaert, "Sexuality and Menopause, a Belgian Study," Advances in Sexual Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2011, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.4236/asm.2011.11001.

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