Women, Middle Age and Sex

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Story Updated: Feb 12, 2014

How important is sex to a woman's health-related quality of life as she ages? And what factors affect her sexual activity as the years go by?

These are questions asked in new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that followed hundreds of middle-aged women over an 8-year span.

To start, more than 600 women, 40-65 years old, were asked to fill-out annual questionnaires about demographic information, menopausal status and symptoms, and medical conditions.

Then, at year four, they completed the Female Sexual Function Index. At this point, a total of 354 women reported being sexually active. This group continued on until year eight when they were again asked about their sex lives. 228 or more than 85 percent remained sexually active.

Other interesting findings having a lower body mass index and placing a higher importance on sex were both associated with continued sexual activity but quality of sex was not

And as women aged, kissing and touching became more important than other sexual activity.

The researchers say middle-aged women have many reasons for engaging in sex and many ways they define satisfaction.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.

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