My husband and I married young – we were high-school sweethearts and we couldn't wait to embark on our life together. We were in love for a long time and we had three beautiful children together. But after nearly 40 years of marriage, we – perhaps inevitably – drifted apart... And now, in my late 50s, I’m newly single. I’ve slowly started to dip my toe into the dating scene (boy have things changed!) and sex with new partners is back on the table for me, for the first time in a very long time! I was chatting to a friend recently about this, and she told me she’d read that there has been an increase in STIs [sexually transmitted infections] in the over-50s age group. Given this, I was wondering how best to look after my sexual health now that I’m post-menopausal and experiencing new sexual partners?
We do tend to think of STI risk being mainly in younger people and most education is aimed at this group. However, your friend is right – the recent statistics around STI risk has shown a spike in transmission in those over 50. This goes to show that there is a risk of getting an STI with any sexual encounter, regardless of your age, and that whoever said sex is only for the young had no idea what they were talking about!