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Ready and Willing, but Unable? Survey Reveals Boomers Desire Sex, But Face Physical Challenges

MONTVALE, N.J., September 25, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- While the majority of adults aged 50 to 70 agree that decreased frequency, physical ability to have or desire for sex is expected with age, a recent survey indicates that women were less prepared than men for the physical changes that are often associated with menopause that would affect their sex lives. According to the recent "Sex, Menopause & Relationship" survey, sponsored by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and conducted by Harris Interactive(R), 65 percent of women who experienced menopause-induced sexual symptoms reported they did not anticipate that they would experience these types of symptoms. This compares to 51 percent for men.


While over half (55%) of all male and female survey respondents reported that sex is important to their overall relationship satisfaction, the survey revealed that most adults (71%) believe that less frequent sex is expected with age. Additionally, the majority of those surveyed agreed that men would be more likely than women to experience physical symptoms that decrease frequency of sex with age. However, more women (67%) than men (59%) reported having experienced symptoms that affected their ability to have sex.


"The survey reveals a knowledge gap about the challenges women and men experience as they age," says David B. Schwartz, M.D. practicing Obstetrics & Gynecology at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. "The majority of people surveyed believe men are more likely to experience sexual symptoms than women. This may be due to the volume and ease of accessibility to information about erectile dysfunction. Conversely, most women face sexual symptoms as they go through menopause, with less information readily available to them."


While nearly half of adults (47%) surveyed would prefer to have sex more often, nearly four in ten adults (38%) have avoided sex, made an excuse not to have sex or stopped having sex due to physical inability, physical discomfort or pain with sex. The reasons, however, vary by gender.


"This survey reveals that women cite discomfort and pain as the reasons for avoiding sex, while men who are avoiding sex as they age do so because of a physical inability," said Bob Berkowitz, PhD, relationship expert and book author. "The survey also revealed that 83 percent of those who have sex at least once a month are satisfied with their relationships."


The survey also revealed:



Among those who experienced symptoms and sought treatment, women (66%) are more likely than men (57%) to say their sex life is not more active at all.


"There seems to be a lack of knowledge about the vaginal symptoms of menopause in women and the treatments available. If women are experiencing vaginal dryness and painful sex, these may be symptoms associated with their menopause," says Dr. Schwartz. "Women experiencing these symptoms may be candidates for estrogen therapy applied locally, which can be prescribed by a healthcare practitioner. I encourage women to explore treatment options with their healthcare providers, and discuss these with their partners."


While half of those polled (55%) believe that sex is an important part of their satisfaction with their relationships with their partners, communication is also important. Of the men and women with symptoms who have discussed their symptoms with their partners, a majority (75%) reported overall satisfaction in their relationships.


"The survey clearly illustrates the importance of communication in a relationship because it shows that partners who are more understanding of sexual issues are more satisfied with their relationships," says Susan Yager-Berkowitz noted relationship author. "Communication is important in any relationship and I encourage couples who would like to continue a sexual relationship as they age to be open with their partners."



The Sex, Menopause & Relationship survey was sponsored by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Harris Interactive(R) conducted the online survey in the U.S. between June 25, 2008 and July 1, 2008 among 705 U.S. adults aged 50-70 who are in heterosexual relationships with partners aged 50-70. Of the 705 survey participants, 354 are females, of whom 174 have experienced menopause-induced sexual symptoms. Of these 174, 121 are postmenopausal and 53 are not. The remaining 351 respondents are males, of whom 131 have experienced symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Results for both groups were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. A full methodology is available.



Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the menstrual period ceases and the ovaries permanently stop releasing eggs. Menopause is considered complete when a woman has been without her period for a full year. While some women experience no menopausal symptoms, others suffer severe symptoms that require treatment. Vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) and vaginal atrophy are the most common menopausal symptoms. Although the majority of women experience "natural" or spontaneous menopause, some women may experience menopause due to a medical intervention such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. For more information about menopause please visit



Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit



Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which develops and markets proprietary pharmaceutical products in North America, focuses primarily on products for women and emphasizes the development and marketing of products for reproductive and menopausal needs. Currently, Duramed markets 27 proprietary pharmaceutical products. Duramed is a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., , a global specialty pharmaceutical company that operates in more than 30 countries worldwide and is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. For more information, visit

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Posted: September 2008