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Will you still have an active sex life when you're 50? How about if you're 60, 70 or even 80? You might think your sexual appetites will have dried up by then, but new research has found that this is not necessarily the case; plenty of us will continue making love well into our ninth decade!

This news has come from the University of Manchester, which just published a study entitled 'Sexual health and wellbeing among older men and women in England'. This is the first study on sexual health of its kind to include people over the age of 80. Over 7,000 people participated, and barely three per cent declined to answer direct questions about their sex lives.

The researchers found that a sizeable minority of older people were still sexually active. Some 31 per cent of women over the age of 70 still reported having frequent sex, along with 54 per cent of men in the same age category. In this context, 'frequent' means more than twice a month, on average.

Older women tend to have problems with sexual arousal, with 32 per cent of the sexually active female participants reporting this issue. Some 27 per cent of this group also said they had trouble achieving orgasm. Meanwhile, 39 per cent of sexually active older men reported problems linked to erectile dysfunction.

Of course, this raises issues of sexual health. Many older people might not think about using condoms, as there is little to no chance of them conceiving a child. However, sexually transmitted diseases are still something to be aware of!

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: "With an ageing population it is important that providers of sexual health services understand the needs of older people in both clinical settings and when developing information and advice. These recent findings now need to be used to improve sexual health advice and information for older people."

Source: University of Manchester