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Stress and health problems affect sexual relationships

A new UK survey released today indicates that stress and health problems are affecting the nation's sexual relationships and people are avoiding discussing these "taboo" problems, potentially putting their long-term health at risk.
The survey of over 2,000 British men and women revealed a combination of stress and health problems that are affecting sexual relationships, the most common complaints being:

  • Stress (60%)
  • Loss of sexual desire (70%)
  • Vaginal discomfort or dryness (almost 40%)

The study findings revealed that men and women over the age of 55 are particularly susceptible to intimate health problems - many of which are associated with the menopause and ageing.  40% of women surveyed in this age group admit they experience intimate sensitivities, such as vaginal discomfort and dryness, which is commonly associated with the drop in oestrogen levels seen during the menopause.
This survey also highlights that primary care practitioners should be aware that despite the common occurrences of intimate health issues, people (especially the older generations who are most at risk) are still unwilling to discuss these "taboo" problems, even to the detriment of their sexual relations. Only 40% of people regularly discuss their sex lives, and this trend becomes less common in respondents over 55 years old.
"Sometimes it is easier to ignore our sexually related health problems than to address them. However, it's important to seek advice and help as many treatments are available. By ignoring physical symptoms, both men and women leave themselves at risk of the problems becoming more serious and less easy to put right. Most women find it very reassuring to share their concerns and are very relieved to find that they are not alone in facing their problems and help is available," advises Dr Annie Evans, women's health specialist.