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Sexual function changes with age, with some of the most dramatic changes occurring around menopause. A new study sought to determine whether sexual function and associated negative mental and physical health outcomes during menopause differ by sexual orientation. The results of the study will be presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Atlanta, October 12-15, 2022.

For many, this is not a secret women, sexual function declines with age. Estimates range from 25% to 85%. postmenopausal women report problems with sexual function. Evidence suggests that sexual minority women (SWM), a term that encompasses a range of sexual orientations for women with same-sex attractions or partners, may be at increased risk for negative mental and physical health outcomes during and after menopause, including more severe menopausal symptoms. However, studies also show that SMW show greater resilience during menopause.

However, overall research regarding the menopausal experience in SMW is very limited. A new study of nearly 200 female veterans aimed to help fill that gap and determine what differences exist in experiencing menopause in relation to sexual function. sexual orientation. Researchers found that middle-aged and older veterans with permanent residence were more likely to be sexually active and reported better sexual functioning and less pain during sexual activity compared to their heterosexual peers. Sexual minority women were also less likely to report some vaginal symptoms.

“Although not tested, we believe that SMW with same-sex partners may have more favorable sexual function outcomes during the menopause transition due to greater variation in sexual behavior compared to heterosexual women who are likely to engage in penetrative sex with men.” says Dr. Anna Blanken, lead author of the study from the San Francisco VA Health Care System. “Furthermore, our data suggest that psychosocial factors such as depression, anxiety and trauma may have a greater impact on sexual function with heterosexual womencompared to SMW’.

“This study confirms the value of healthcare professionals having open conversations with their patients so they can better understand their lifestyle and preferences in order to offer appropriate treatment and care options,” said Dr. Stephanie Fabion, NAMS Medical Director.

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Citation: Effect of sexual orientation on sexual function in peri- and postmenopausal women (2022, October 13) Retrieved October 13, 2022, from -postmenopausal. html

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