We Baby Boomers are a randy bunch. It turns out that many a Boomers are doing the boom at least a few times a month. Although I am almost a Gen X born at the end of the free love of the 60’s, I have certainly been influenced by my Mother who burned her bra with Betty Freidan and my Dad who discoed up a storm.
It turns out that in the spirit of “love thy Neighbor” has continued to the Boomers who are now 50 plus. And they are doing it without as much latex as they should. They are grown ups, you think they would know better. The number of STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) are up among older adults. It’s something to be worried about yes, but is it an epidemic?
The number of reportable STI’s in the entire City of Ottawa in 2010 was 2926. That’s a population of over 1 million people. The number of cases reported in people over the age of 44 was 51.
51 cases over 44 in over 1 million people. Should you be aware – yes. Should the risk of sexual infections keep you up night and prevent you from taking someone new for a test drive, I think if you’re careful -no. However, I’ll let you decide.
“For baby boomers the situation may be a bit more complicated. To begin with, there are physical changes that may increase the risk of infection. As women age, the Student BMJ researchers noted,the thinning of the lining of the vagina and a loss of lubrication make tiny abrasions more likely, creating entry points for viruses. Change in vaginal pH after menopause may also increase risk.”
More and more senior adults are trying online and multiple partner dating and may think that STI’s are something that doesn’t impact them. Add that to the use of Cialis, Viagra and the new Staxyn drugs and you’ve got sex going on longer, and more vigorously later in life (yeah!)
The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself. Here is the steps I advise to anyone having multiple partners.
1. Get the Twinrix Hepatitis A and B vaccine to protect you from 2 of the 3 Hepatitis infections. Hep C is transmitted through blood.,
2. Get the Gardasil vaccine. It prevents the HPV virus transmission and the contracting of genital warts and cervical cancer. Even men can get the vaccine so they can prevent the transmission of the virus. Don’t let your physician tell you that men don’t need it. You can assure any potential partners that you are clean of the possibility of warts. And HPV is transmitted by touch so condoms alone won’t prevent the transmission.
3. Get a back up 10 day supply of antibiotics. Doctors are reluctant to just give you some, but many will give you a prescription if you are traveling. If the condom breaks, or you have an unprotected experience you can use a dose of antibiotics to prevent any bacteria based STI like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea.
4. Oral sex and manual sex (hand jobs) are fairly safe provided there is no cold sores or rash present or if there is a foul infectious odor. In any case of bacteria STI’s I have ever seen, there was a smell or rash. A sniff and a check under the hood in bright light means that oral can be done without much risk of transmission.
5. Sorry, but for intercourse, condoms are the only thing that prevents transmission.
Follow the steps, get tested, and be prudent (not paranoid that doesn’t have you leaving the house) and you can be one of those hot, sexy seniors.