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Delving into the world of sex toys and lubricants during the menopause can be an exciting but scary prospect, especially if it’s not something you’ve previously explored. If you’ve found, like so many other women going through the menopause, that sex is painful or that what once hit the spot doesn’t work for you anymore, then it’s well worth investing in a sex aid that can help you get back to that yes, yes, YES feeling you’ve been missing.
A drop in the body’s estrogen levels throughout the menopause transition can cause vaginal tissues to become less elastic and more fragile. Combine this with the vagina being less naturally lubricated than it once was, and you’ve got almost perfect conditions for painful sex.
In research conducted by the British Menopause Society, over one-third of the women interviewed reported vaginal dryness and over one in ten said they’d experienced pain during sex.
Vaginal symptoms become increasingly common as you age and approximately two-thirds of postmenopausal women who haven’t taken HRT suffer from changes in the vagina and bladder linked to low oestrogen.
Studies also show that up to one-quarter of women using systemic HRT will still experience symptoms of urogenital atrophy.
Once you’ve experienced painful sex, the vagina can tense up involuntarily – it can become a tricky and uncomfortable problem to try and unravel.
Getting ahead of problems such as vaginal dryness or painful sex is key to ensuring you can enjoy a happy and healthy sex life throughout the menopause and beyond. And sex toys and products and lubricants can certainly help you on that journey.
Whether you’re looking to involve your partner or have some solo fun, there’s a wide range of sex toys and lubricants available which can help with menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, painful sex, and decreased sensitivity caused by a drop in oestrogen levels in the body.
As well as increasing arousal and helping decrease pain and discomfort, sex toys and lubrication can also reawaken your body to pleasure. This can work wonders for decreasing anxiety which is just one of the many psychological symptoms of the menopause. So, if you found yourself wondering, ‘does sex help the menopause?’, we’re delighted to confirm the answer is a resounding yes! What better reason to roll back into bed?
Before we get into specific products, remember this is about reigniting your love for pleasure, enjoyment and touch; try not to put too much pressure on reaching orgasm, which you may be finding difficult at the moment due to decreased sensitivity.
Most importantly, remember that painful sex after menopause is not something you have to grin and bear. There are plenty of products, techniques and advice available to help you enjoy sex just as much – or even more! – than you did pre-menopause.
If you’re looking for practical pleasure tips and or want to learn how to bring yourself to orgasm in a different way OMGYes is a website focussed entirely on women’s sexual pleasure and is an excellent resource to help women explore their bodies with or without a partner.
The following products are all recommended by the founder of Pelvic Relief, Eleanor Gardner, who is passionate about helping women overcome issues like painful sex and allow them to get back to enjoying a happy and healthy sex life.
There is a well-known orgasm gap between men and women – research suggests that around 80% of women never orgasm through penetration alone, which is where vibrators come in.
It can be daunting buying a vibrator, especially if it’s not something you’ve done before. But, as well as helping you explore new sensations, using a vibrator increases blood flow to your vulva and vagina – increasing sensitivity and helping you reach new pleasure highs.
Gwen is a super soft, flexible and water-safe clitoral vibrator which is a great place to start. It offers ten vibrating patterns so you can choose your preferred speed and intensity, and its curved design means it’s perfect for trying on your own or with a partner.
The Jo Divine IMMY (formerly the Slinky Pinky and Slinky Kama Blue) is another great vibrator; it’s small in size and offers three different speeds and four vibration patterns to choose from.
Dilators are tube-shaped devices that are available in a range of sizes (from finger-size to much larger) and can be prescribed by your doctor.
Using dilators is a process that involves careful, comfortable and slow insertion into the vagina. This can help with adhesion and scar management, but it also helps reduce anxiety and increase confidence in avoiding painful sex or smear tests.
Ordinarily, you would start with the largest size you feel comfortable with and then increase this over time. While many dilators are made from unforgiving plastic, Soul Source dilators have been designed by a sex therapist and gynaecologist. They are made from soft, flexible silicone rubber to mimic natural body tissue and can be warmed or cooled and come in a range of eight sizes.
If you’re finding deep penetrative sex uncomfortable, the anxiety can feed into a cycle of muscle contraction and further pain.
Ohnut is a revolutionary wearable solution that allows you to explore different penetration depths. It’s made of four silicone stacking rings that sit at the base of the penetrating partner to create a comfortable cushion and prevent sex from getting too deep. This ingenious sex toy puts the power back in your hands and allows you to enjoy as much – or as little – penetration as you like.
Due to the natural decline in vaginal lubrication during the menopause, learning how to overcome vaginal dryness and investing in a good quality lube is more important than ever to help you have the best menopausal sex.
The YES, YES, YES range of products are all certified organic, hormone and irritant-free. They are pH matched to the vagina and specifically formulated for good gynaecological health.
For complete bliss, try applying the oil-based lubricant to yourself first, followed by your partner, so the two glide over each other.
If you feel embarrassed or nervous about buying sex toys or lubrication, then shopping online rather than in person could save your blushes. And don’t worry about the local postie getting a giggle from your delivery; many online sex toy shops offer very discreet packaging for extra peace of mind.
If you’re wondering where to start, why not take a check out Jo Divine, which focuses on creating skin-safe products.
Whether you want to discuss your symptoms, create a treatment plan that's right for you, understand some test results or have a check-up, the highly experienced doctors in our menopause clinic are here to help you.Book now