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Just because you can no longer become pregnant, you’ll want to make sure a new partner wears a condom. Dr. Michael Krychman, a respected gynecologist and sexual health expert in Newport Beach, CA. tells us why.

When a postmenopausal woman is intimate with a new man, why is it important for him to use a condom?
Although many postmenopausal women think of the condom only as a way to prevent pregnancy, the over-50 crowd is experiencing the fastest growing rate of sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Sex is sometimes a dangerous adventure, so condoms should be worn for disease prevention!

Why don’t older woman understand they can contact STDs, even if they can’t become pregnant?
Lack of communication- women are vilified in our society for being sexual, let alone older and sexual. We are stuck in a conspiracy of silence. Patients don’t talk about sex and health care together. Professionals certainly don’t want to bring up the issues.

Do condoms inhibit the sexual activity of older men?
No. A man should have a comprehensive physical, including appropriate lab tests, if he is having sexual problems. Testosterone declines as men age, and even anxiety in new relationships can impact their sexual performance. Don’t assume and attribute the sexual problem to the condom.

What’s the best thing to say to a man who refuses to use a condom convince him (besides the facts about STDs)?
NO GLOVE, NO LOVE. If he cares enough about you to have sex, then he should be open and receptive to your concerns. If he’s unwilling, then it’s maybe time to reassess the relationship.

Should a woman “take a chance” and forget the condom if he still refuses?

Are all condoms created equal? If not, how does a couple choose a condom?
Size, comfort and material are important aspects. Is it lubricated? Most men have some favorites.

Can a condom cause a reaction in a woman’s vagina? How does a woman know if she’s going to get a reaction BEFORE she comes into contact with a condom?
If a woman has a latex allergy, or is sensitive to polyurethane, then she should avoid these products. Also, if a woman is menopausal and has a dry and sensitive inelastic vagina, it may be a good idea for her to visit a healthcare provider for an exam. She may need some local hormones to spruce up her dry vagina. Moisturizers and lubes also may be helpful.

Please give us some tips on when to put on the condom.
Try the banana trick. Squeeze the tip (also known as the reservoir) of the condom to hold it steady, on a (real) banana, gently rolling it down to the base. Be sure to put it on an erect penis. Practicing on the banana could be a fun activity for a couple, especially if you add some ice cream and hot chocolate sauce!

Is an STD caused by the semen, or simply the penis coming into contact with the vagina? Or both?
Both. STIs are caused by bacteria, viruses or other organisms that are transmitted through sexual contact.

What STDs should concern a FOF woman?
ALL OF THEM: HIV, human papillomavirus, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis. Even hepatitis is an STI. Be careful out there. It can be most pleasant and fun but it also can be dangerous!

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