Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Greta Bauer

Second Advisor

Dr. William Avison

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Macnab


Middle-aged and older adults remain sexually active, but the combination of sexual longevity, inconsistent safe sex practices, and poor condom knowledge, increases their likelihood to risk their sexual health. Menopause may influence sexual risk, as postmenopausal women may engage in risky sexual behaviours, while hormonal changes increase physiological vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections. This project explored whether menopause and type of post-menopause (natural versus surgically- induced) influenced sexual behaviour and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seroprevalence, using logistic regression modeling of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. Controlling for confounding, menopause was negatively associated with number of sexual partners, negatively associated with condom use in non-partnered low education women, and positively associated with HSV-2. Type of menopause was not associated with any outcomes. This project highlights a need for improved data on sexual behaviour in older adults.



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