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The Reproductive System, and how to keep it youthful
The reproductive system, also known as the genital system, is made up of all the organs and tissues involved in sexual reproduction.
The reproductive system, also known as the genital system, is made up of all the organs and tissues involved in sexual reproduction, and it plays the following key roles: to make sperm and egg cells and to nourish the growing offspring. The male and female reproductive systems differ substantially. The female organs that are involved in the production of offspring are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, and vagina are all part of this system in women. The prostate, testes, and penis are all parts of the male reproductive system.
The aging reproductive system
The female reproductive system will undergo major changes at older age, as it progressively ceases producing the female hormones required for the reproductive cycle to function, and menstrual periods may become erratic and finally end at the stage termed menopause. The decreasing female hormone levels will cause the ovaries and uterus to shrink. The vaginal tissues become smaller, drier, and less elastic (a condition called atrophic vaginitis). These changes can cause itching, bleeding, pain during intercourse, and the need to urinate frequently (urinary urgency). The breasts lose their firmness and become more fibrous, causing them to sag. Some of the changes that occur during menopause, such as decreased hormone levels and vaginal dryness, can also impair sexual activity. For most women, however, aging does not significantly reduce their pleasure of sexual activity. It's even likely that not having to be concerned about getting pregnant could improve sexual behavior and enjoyment.
The male reproductive system will also change with aging, but changes in sex hormone levels are less abrupt in males compared to females. The levels of the male hormone testosterone gradually drop, resulting in less sperm and a lower sex drive (libido). Despite the fact that blood flow to the penis continues to decline with age, most men will achieve erections and orgasms at older age. However, erections may not last as long, can be less rigid, or require more stimulation to sustain. It's possible that a second erection would take longer. Impotence (erectile dysfunction) becomes more common as men age and is typically caused by a condition affecting the blood vessels (such as vascular disease) or diabetes.
Sexual activity is important for wellbeing in older people
A study involving 6,879 older people with an average age of 65 showed that older men and women who reported any sort of sexual activity in the past 12 months scored higher on life enjoyment than those who did not. Kissing, petting, and fondling were linked to a higher level of happiness of life in older women, as was feeling emotionally close to their spouse during sex. Among older women, however, there was no significant link between sexual intercourse and life satisfaction. However, contentment with their sex life and frequency of sexual intercourse were linked to increased happiness of life in older males. The findings suggest that sexual intercourse may be more essential for older men than for older women for wellbeing. Other studies have linked frequent sexual activity to a variety of psychological and physiological benefits, including improved quality of life and mental health, as well as a reduced risk of certain cancers and fatal coronary events. It is well known that psychological health is intimately related to physical health, and as someone ages, this psychological health therefore becomes increasingly important. It is important to recognize that older persons are not asexual, and that having a frequent and problem-free sex life is linked to improved health.
Mitigating changes in sexuality during ageing, and prolonging a sexually active age
Sexual needs and performance change as people get older and many people may be unable to enjoy sex due to illness or treatments, or simply the various ageing-related changes to the reproductive system. For example, vaginal dryness can make sex unpleasant for women. Impotence may be a source of worry for men. It may take longer to achieve an erection, and erections may be less firm than before.
Sexuality is frequently a complex balancing act of emotional and physical factors. What you are able to do and what you desire to do may be influenced by how you feel. Many elderly couples report that their sex life is more satisfying than when they were younger. They enjoy less distractions, more time and solitude, no concerns about becoming pregnant, and more intimacy with a long-term relationship in many circumstances.
Our bodies change as we get older, including our weight, complexion, and muscle tone, and some seniors don't feel at ease with their aging bodies. Men and women of a certain age may be concerned that their spouses may no longer find them appealing. Sexual issues associated with aging, such as the ones listed above, can be stressful and upsetting. This anxiety can prevent you from having a satisfying sex life.
The same daily concerns that impact persons of all ages also influence older couples. They may also be concerned about disease, retirement, and lifestyle changes, which can all lead to sexual problems. Discuss your concerns with your partner freely, and avoid blaming yourself or your partner. Talking to a therapist, either alone or with your partner, may also be beneficial. It's something to talk about. Many of the factors that contribute to sexual issues in older people can be addressed.
Several ageing-related illnesses, disabilities, medications, and procedures can also significantly interfere with your ability to have and enjoy sexual activity:
Arthritis-related joint discomfort can make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Exercise, medications, and possibly joint replacement surgery could all help to alleviate the discomfort. Rest, warm baths, and repositioning or timing sexual activity can all help.
Chronic pain can hamper intimacy between older individuals. Some pain relievers can impair sexual function. If you have any pharmaceutical adverse effects, always consult your doctor.
Dementia has been reported to have an increased desire for sex and physical intimacy, but they may be unable to discern what is and is not acceptable sexual activity. Even if a person with severe dementia doesn't recognize their spouse or lover, they still want sexual touch and may seek it from someone else. Knowing how to approach this circumstance might be perplexing and tough. Speaking with a doctor, nurse, or social worker who has been trained in dementia care may also be beneficial in this situation.
Diabetes may lead to erectile dysfunction in some men. In the vast majority of cases, medical treatment can be beneficial. The impact of diabetes on sexuality in elderly women is less well understood. Vaginal yeast infections are more common in diabetic women, and they can cause itching and discomfort, as well as make sex difficult or unappealing. Infections with yeast can be treated.
Heart disease resulting in the narrowing and hardening of arteries can cause blood vessels to constrict, preventing blood from flowing freely. As a result, both men and women may experience orgasm issues. It may take longer for both men and women to become aroused, and some men may find it difficult to achieve or sustain an erection. People who have had a heart attack, or their partners, may be terrified of having sex again. Despite the fact that sexual activity is normally safe, you should always follow your doctor's instructions. Your doctor may want to adjust your treatment plan if your heart problems worsen and you have chest pain or shortness of breath even while you are resting.
Incontinence is quite common as people, particularly women, get older, they are more likely to lose bladder control or leak pee. Urine loss can occur when there is too much pressure on the belly during intercourse. Changing postures or emptying the bladder before and after intercourse can help with this. Incontinence can typically be addressed, which is excellent news.
Stroke can impair a person's ability to have sex. People with persistent weakness or paralysis may be able to have intercourse with the help of a change in position or medical gadgets. Some persons who are paralyzed from the waist down can nevertheless have orgasm and pleasure.
Depression can manifest itself in a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities such as closeness and sexual activity. It's not always easy to tell if you're depressed. Consult your physician. Depression is treatable.
Surgery involving the breasts or the genital area is also quite common at older age. The majority of people return to a normal sex life they had prior to surgery. A hysterectomy involves the removal of a woman's uterus for a variety of causes, including discomfort, bleeding, fibroids, and other complications. When an older woman gets a hysterectomy, her ovaries are frequently removed as well. When it comes to deciding whether or not to get this surgery, both women and their partners may be concerned about their future sexual lives. Talk to your gynecologist or surgeon if you're worried about any changes you could have after a hysterectomy. A mastectomy is a procedure in which all or part of a woman's breast is removed due to breast cancer. Some women may lose their sexual attraction as a result of the surgery, or they may feel less desirable or appealing to their partners. In addition to speaking with your doctor, it may be beneficial to speak with other women who have undergone this procedure. Prostatectomy is a procedure in which all or part of a man's prostate is removed due to cancer or an enlarged prostate. It has the potential to cause urinary incontinence or ED. If you require this procedure, discuss your concerns with your doctor prior to surgery.
Medications of certain types can also lead to impaired sexual health. Some blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, Parkinson's disease or cancer meds, appetite suppressants, mental health treatments, and ulcer medications are among them. Some of them can cause ED or make it difficult for men to ejaculate. Some medicines can lower a woman's sexual desire, create vaginal dryness, or make arousal and orgasm harder. Consult your doctor to check if there is a medication that does not have this side effect.
Sexual health during aging can be improved by the following:
Exercising on a daily basis will boosts the production of sexual hormones and increase blood flow to the sexual organs, as well as boost cardiovascular health, endurance, mood, and self-esteem — all of which contribute to good sexual health.
Eating healthy food will also improve general health and boost libido. The following are eight of the most prevalent foods that are claimed to be aphrodisiacs: asparagus, artichokes, oysters, chocolate, figs, chili peppers, strawberries and watermelon. It's however possible that experiencing an increase in libido when eating these foods is more of a placebo effect. A heart-healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, paired with regular exercise is a winning combination for feeling your best and being ready for whatever comes next.
Reducing alcohol consumption and stop smoking will also improve general health and sexual well being.
Powerful sexual health enhancing supplements are the following:
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is related to clover. The seeds have a maple syrup-like flavor and are utilized in meals and medicinal. It is a herb with a well-established use in increasing sexual arousal and orgasms while shortening recovery time. Studies have shown that it increases libido (more intense arousal), improves sexual performance (stronger orgasms), and speeds up the sexual recovery time, and even encouraged increased muscle strength, overall vigor, and well-being. There were no harmful side effects reported by study participants.
Ginseng is a widely used botanical to improve general sexual health, such as penile function, libido, performance, and sperm quality. Ginseng has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac, erectile dysfunction cure, and overall sex enhancement. Ginseng has a positive influence on libido and sexual performance in both animals and humans. It enhanced the quality and quantity of sperm in both healthy and infertile men. In one study, men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction saw significant increases in performance and sexual satisfaction after consuming Korean red ginseng three times a day for eight weeks. Another study found that taking Korean red ginseng three times a day for 12 weeks helped men with erectile dysfunction have improved performance. greater stiffness, penetration, and maintenance of erections.
Maca, also known as Ginseng Andin, Peruvian Ginseng, Lepidium meyenii, or Lepidium peruvianum, is a radish relative with a butterscotch-like aroma. Achieving stronger sex drive and sperm function are the best uses for maca. A systematic assessment of research from multiple studies found evidence of maca's efficacy in improving sexual function. One study indicated that 40 percent of males who took maca plant supplements for three months had increased sex drive and enhanced sperm production and mobility.
Tribulus terrestris is a leafy plant used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It's also widely used as a sports supplement, and it's frequently promoted as a way to increase testosterone levels and sex drive. It has been shown to increase sex drive in both men and women. Consuming it daily for 90 days boosted sexual satisfaction in 88 percent of women who reported low sexual drive. Furthermore, a two-month trial in men found that consumption of Tribulus terrestris daily increased sexual desire in 79 percent of the participants.
Horny goat weed also known as barrenwort, bishop's hat, fairy wings, or yin yang huo, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Berberidaceae. The majority of the species are endemic to China, with smaller numbers elsewhere in Asia, and a few in the Mediterranean region. Chemicals in horny goat weed may assist enhance blood flow and improve sexual performance. It also includes phytoestrogens, which are molecules that behave similarly to estrogen. People use horny goat weed to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual issues, health problems after menopause, and other ailments, however there is no scientific proof to back up all of these claims. A component in the plant was discovered to prevent the effects of an enzyme that reduces blood flow to the penis in a study. Epimedium, the main ingredient in horny goat weed, appears to work as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, comparable to several ED medications.
Ginkgo biloba is a widely used herbal supplement in traditional Chinese medicine. It may treat a variety of conditions, including sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction and reduced libido, by increasing nitric oxide levels in the blood, which helps blood flow by increasing blood vessel expansion. Supplements containing Ginkgo biloba have been proven to boost libido and sexual function in men and women when paired with other chemicals including L-arginine, zinc, and Tribulus terrestris.
Saffron is derived from the Crocus sativus flower and is used as a spice. Its many traditional benefits include everything from stress relief to functioning as an aphrodisiac, which is especially beneficial for persons taking antidepressants. In fact, several studies demonstrate that saffron can help both men and women with sexual dysfunction induced by antidepressants. Furthermore, saffron was found to improve erectile function, sexual desire, and pleasure in men in a review of several research studies. Saffron also boosted different aspects of sexual enjoyment, desire, and arousal in men and women, according to an analysis of five trials.
Yohimbine is derived from the bark of an African tree, and it promotes penile blood flow by widening of blood vessels, thereby reducing erectile dysfunction and yielding harder erections. Many studies have shown yohimbine’s utility to prevent erectile dysfunction and the supplement had no significant side effects.
L-arginine is an amino acid (building block of proteins) that serves as a starting material for the production of nitric oxide, a chemical that aids in the relaxation and opening of blood vessels, a critical step in achieving penile erection. L-arginine can also help boosting testosterone levels which in turn can improve sexual function and stamina.
L-citrulline is used to treat erectile dysfunction and increase sexual satisfaction. While L arginine is the most often found amino acid in men's health supplements, it is digested too quickly to provide any actual effect. L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, is therefore a superior option. L-citrulline supplements (1.5g per day for one month) increased 50% of participants' erection hardness. Overall, researchers note, l-citrulline has been shown to be safe and well tolerated by patients.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that the body used to produce sex hormones. Supplementation with DHEA can aid persons with low libido, improve sexual performance, and reduce erectile dysfunction.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthier sperm and increased fertility. Studies have shown that vitamin E supplements can help protect and develop better-quality sperm. In a study where nearly 700 infertile men received 200mg (micrograms) of vitamin E (400 IU units) per day for 100 days, over half of the males had improved sperm motility and shape, and about a quarter of the men were able to get their partners pregnant.
Zinc is a vital mineral and nutrient that is essential for a variety of bodily functions. Zinc can boost sexual health in many ways. It aids in the production of important sex hormones like testosterone and prolactin. Zinc is also required for the production of prostatic fluid's main component. Dietary zinc has been shown to affect male sexual competency. Zinc is also required for the maintenance of dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter important for male sexual health. According to several studies, increasing dopamine production boosts sexual excitement. Shellfish, meat, and sunflower seeds are high in zinc.
Vaginal lotions are creams and lubricants for females to increase libido and sexual pleasures. Some of them contain L-arginine and ginkgo biloba. L-arginine that dilates blood arteries, allowing more blood to flow through the application site. They also contain Ginkgo biloba that aids in the retention of moisture thereby creating lubrication. Some creams also contain natural substances that increase sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, thereby stimulating the female reproductive system, reducing hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and irritation.
Fertility in aging
As women get older, their ovaries go through normal age-related changes. A woman's ovaries contain about one million egg-containing follicles when she is born. When she reaches adolescence, that number drops to around 300,000, and only approximately 300 of those follicles will be ovulated during her reproductive years. The majority of the follicles are not ovulated, but are lost due to a degenerative condition known as atresia. A woman's highest chance of conceiving is in her twenties. When a woman reaches her 30s, her fertility begins to decline gradually, especially beyond the age of 35. Each month, a healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of becoming pregnant. By the time a woman reaches the age of 40, her chances of conceiving are less than 5% per cycle. By their mid-40s, the majority of women are unable to conceive a viable pregnancy. These percentages apply to both natural and fertility-treatment-assisted conception. Fertility loss is caused by a decrease in both egg quality and quantity. Aneuploidy, or having too many or too few chromosomes in the egg, is an issue for women as they become older. When a typical egg is fertilized, it has 23 chromosomes and is fertilized by sperm with 23 chromosomes as well. The resulting embryo has 46 chromosomes, which is typical. As a woman gets older, though, more and more of her eggs have either too few or too many chromosomes. If fertilization takes place, the embryo will contain too few or too many chromosomes; majority of these embryos do not result in pregnancy. The decline in egg-containing follicles that occurs as a woman age is referred to as "loss of ovarian reserve." This loss begins long before a woman becomes infertile or stops having regular periods. As ovarian reserve drops, follicles become less susceptible to the follicle stimulating hormone, making it more difficult for an egg to mature into ovulation. Treating female fertility problems caused by age involve a variety of solutions, such as fertility medications, donor eggs, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Although becoming pregnant as you get older, especially for first-time mothers, is more difficult, it is still feasible, and specialized clinics and doctors should be consulted to identify the best possible solution. Natural fertility-boosting supplements for both women and men, and over the counter technologies for monitoring fertility, can also greatly facilitate getting pregnant.
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