Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

The importance of a good sex life in later life


Anything else you wanted to know about sex?



In October laterlife healthwise column, Helen Franks talked about Erectile Dysfunction. This month, resident counsellor Maggi Stamp tells the story of a couple whose marriage ended through differing sexual needs. We continue the theme here with a survey on Sexual Habits and Well being.


Sex is good for you!

  • As human beings our sexuality is inextricably linked to our overall health, happiness, and sense of wellness.

  • Satisfaction with sexual life has been shown to be an important predictor of satisfaction with life as a whole.

  • Mortality risk is 50% lower in men with high orgasmic frequency than in men with low orgasmic frequency.

How important is sex?

  • More than 80% of men and over 60% of women aged 40-80 years say sex is an important part of their overall lives.

  • More than half of both men and women disagree with the statement "older people no longer want sex".

  • Physical satisfaction in a relationship is higher amongst those people who report that they are healthier – nearly 70% of people who describe their health as ‘excellent’ also report their physical relationship with their partner to be very/extremely pleasurable in the past year.

How often do people have sex?

  • 82% of men and 64% of women reported having intercourse in the last 12 months. Of these:  59% of men and 53% women in the UK have sex regularly (at least one to six times per week)

  • Despite the importance of sexual relations to men and women, erectile dysfunction often goes untreated because people are reluctant to talk to their doctor.

  • Doctors do not raise the subject of sexual difficulties with their patients – Worldwide only 9% of men or women report being asked by their doctor about sexual difficulties in the last three years and this figure decreases to only 4% in the UK.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)


Erectile dysfunction (ED), often known as impotence, is defined as the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity.



How many men suffer from ED?

  • Over three million men suffer from erection problems in the UK, and over 140 million men worldwide.

  • ED is one of the most common male sexual problems and becomes progressively more prevalent as men get older.

What causes ED?

  • ED is primarily caused by physical conditions not psychological factors.

  • ED has been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression.

  • It is estimated that between 39% and 64% of men with cardiovascular disease suffer from ED.

  • Over 50% of men with diabetes suffer from ED some of the time and as many as 39% suffer from ED all the time.

  • The probability of a man with severe depression having moderate to mild ED is early 90%.

How does ED affect men’s quality of life?

  • Two-thirds of men with ED say that their ED makes them feel worried and anxious (65%) and makes them lack confidence.

  • Over half (56%) of men with ED say their ED makes them feel depressed.

  • Nearly a quarter of men (24%) say that their ED makes them feel unattractive.

How does the partner feel?

  • Over 60% of men with ED say that their partners have negative emotions towards the condition.

  • Whereas over 80% of men with ED describe their partners as being supportive (84%) and sympathetic (86%) to their erection problems, they also describe partners as angry (45%) and feeling unattractive (56%). 

How does ED effect the relationship overall?

  • The emotional and mental stress caused by erection problems can mean that men avoid intimate situations with a partner.

  • 80% of men with ED experience some form of relationship difficulty because of their condition.

  • One in ten say that they stopped forming relationships as a result of their ED.

How long do men suffer in silence?

  • Less than a third of men with erection problems have summoned the courage to ask for medical help.

  • On average it can take a man with ED 28 months before he even starts to do anything about the problem.

  • ED is a medical condition and a serious health issue.

  • Nearly 90% of those men with ED who were treated successfully, said it improved their life.



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwise, reports from the REACH files, and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

Also don't forget to take a look at our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT by IT trainer and author Jackie Sherman.

To view the latest articles and indexes to previous articles click on laterlife interest here or above.  To search for articles about a certain topic, use the site search feature below.



back to laterlife interest

Site map and site search


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti