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Legacy Women's Health


Women over 50 and STIs – What you need to know to protect yourself.

Today, more women over 50 are single than in past decades. Yet, many of these women do not take protective measures against STIs, or sexually transmitted infections. If you’re over 50, our ObGyns are here to offer vital information and advice about STIs.

Women over 50 and STIs – Understanding STIs and how they’re transmitted

First, it’s important to understand how STIs are transmitted from person to person. Most STIs are spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a man or a woman who has an STI, but herpes and syphilis can also be spread through genital touching.

Different viral and bacterial infections cause STIs. Viral infections, including herpes, HIV and AIDS, cannot be cured, but treatment will help reduce their symptoms. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. Here is a list of some common STIs:

  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus
  • HPV, or human papillomavirus infection
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B

According to the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public Health National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, only 9.7% of women ages 45 to 60 reported using a condom during sexual intercourse.

Five steps to reduce the risk of contracting STIs

Our ObGyns urge you to practice these important steps for safer sex:

  1. Use condoms every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse.
  2. Get tested and ask your partners to get tested for STIs before you have sex.
  3. Talk to your ObGyn about the hepatitis B vaccination.
  4. Avoid risky behaviors that can lead to unprotected sex, like alcohol and drug abuse.
  5. Limit your sexual partners to reduce the risk for STIs.

Women over 50 can rely on our physicians for compassionate advice, care and treatment for STIs. Contact us to request an appointment.