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Nurses can help older women manage changes in their sexual health

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Tremayne P, Norton W (2017) Sexuality and the older woman. British Journal of Nursing. 26, 14, 819-824.

With increased life expectancy women can expect to live one third of their life post-menopause, when many older women say that sexual activity is still an important part of their relationship.

Reduction in systemic oestrogen can lead to the vagina becoming shorter and drier, with a reduction in vaginal secretions. This may make penetration painful, but can be helped with artificial lubricants.

Lack of oestrogen can also lead to stress incontinence and urinary tract infections, which may be helped by prescribing vaginal oestrogen. Reduced circulating oestrogen can also lead to reduced libido and difficulty achieving orgasm.

Older women are at increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases because dryness in the vagina can lead to micro-abrasions.

They are also at increased risk of

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