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The best sex toys and lubes to help with menopausal sex

If, like so many other women going through the menopause, you've found that sex is painful or not as enjoyable as it once was, you're not alone. The good news is there are lots of great sex toys and lubricants that can help. Embarking on the journey of exploring these products can evoke a mix of excitement and apprehension, especially if it's unfamiliar territory. Knowledge is power and in this blog, Pelvic Relief founder Eleanor Gardner explains the gynaecological changes that happen during the menopause and shares her recommendations and top tips to help you navigate your way to the products that will help you get back to that yes, yes, YES feeling you’ve been missing.


What causes vaginal dryness, vaginal itching and irritation during the menopause transition?

The hormone oestrogen not only keeps your vaginal walls plump and flowing with blood, it is also an important hormone for bladder health. The decrease in oestrogen experienced during the menopause transition can cause your vagina and the tissues of your vulva to become dry, fragile and sensitive. Vaginal walls can become thinner and drier and lose elasticity. Sometimes your muscles may even shrink.  The result is a condition known as vaginal atrophy– see image below:

Healthy vagina vs urogenital atrophy

Illustration to show a healthy vagina vs urogenital atrophy

This can all result in day to day pain and discomfort, dyspareunia (painful sex), vaginismus and pelvic floor dysfunction.  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.

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?’,  the answer is a resounding yes! What better reason to roll back into bed?

Before I 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.

Menopause sex toy recommendations

Ready to dabble with dilators?

Vaginal dilators are medical devices designed to gently stretch, prevent narrowing and gradually improve the flexibility of the vaginal canal. They come in various graded sizes and are typically shaped like cylinders or tapered cones. At Pelvic Relief we sell the Soul Source silicone dilators, the material is kinder than rigid plastic alternatives having a degree of flexibility, they are medical grade, and can be warmed or cooled.


To use dilators:

  • Create a calm environment and engage in some relaxation or breathing techniques to help relax the pelvic floor
  • Begin with external stimulation to aid relaxation and promote blood flow to the area and natural lubrication
  • Select a good quality lubricant to put over the dilator and entrance to the vagina
  • Select the smallest dilator and gently insert it into the vagina. Move slowly to allow your body to accommodate the dilator. If discomfort arises, pause, take deep breaths to allow relaxation before progressing
  • Once you feel comfortable with that size you can slowly progress to the larger sizes but this may take days, weeks or even months. Being patient and compassionate with your body is important
  • Consistency is key, aim to use your dilators for a few minutes each day

Say Oh Yes with Ohnut

If pain on deep penetration is something that you experience (for example as a result of the shortening of the vaginal canal due to atrophy or hysterectomy), Ohnut is an innovative wearable that may help.

Ohnut comprises 4 stacking rings that sit at the base of the penis or dilator they compress down to act like a soft buffer to prevent penetration reaching a depth that causes pain. 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.

This reduces anxiety and helps avoid the muscle spasms that develop as pain is anticipated. Ohnut also offers an additional ring that has a vibrating function. This can increase pleasure for both partners and has the benefit of encouraging blood flow to the area which aids relaxation and natural lubrication.

Good vibrations

Understandably many women have never owned a vibrator and it may seem daunting to introduce one later in life. However, 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 is well established now that vibrations can really help stimulate blood flow to the vaginal area, encourage natural lubrication, increase pleasure and improve intimacy.

At Pelvic Relief, understanding what a significant step it is for many women, we have carefully selected a small range of high quality, soft and attractive vibrators that are a great entry point into exploring this area of your sexual wellbeing. They can be used alone or with a partner and aid relaxation before dilation. They are safe to use with lubricants – in fact we strongly recommend you use lots of lubricant with these!

gwen vibrator

For example, Gwen (pictured) 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.

Lavish lubrication and vaginal moisturisers

A vaginal moisturiser is designed for regular, long term use to manage the day to day discomfort of atrophy. They work by rehydrating the tissues of the vagina and vulva by returning moisture to the tissue. They can be used internally and externally, they can be used alongside oestrogen or as a non-hormonal alternative.

A lubricant is designed to provide more intense additional lubrication for sexual intimacy or dilator use. 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. Yes Yes Yes Lubricant

Not all moisturisers and lubricants are created equal when it comes to gynaecological health. Many contain ingredients that can exacerbate health concerns. It is really important to select a product that matches the pH and osmolality of the vagina and does not include skin irritants. We always recommend the YES range (YES VM vaginal moisturiser, YES WB water-based lubricant and YES OB oil-based lubricant – this product can also be used as a wonderful emollient for the vulva) and the Desert Harvest range (Glide, an organic lubricant, and Releveum, a 4% lidocaine healing cream and real hero product).

A word on washes

As oestrogen drops during menopause this can upset the delicate pH balance of the vagina making infections such as bacterial vaginosis and cystitis more common. It is really important to use a gentle pH matched cleanser when washing. Never use internal washes or douches which can upset the vaginal microbiome further. Again we only recommend the YES or Desert Harvest range for their gentle ingredients and sensitivity to gynaecological health. Desert Harvest also offers soothing flushable moist towelettes especially helpful if you are experiencing some light bladder leakage.


I hope this brief overview of some of the great products available is a helpful starting point and will help you find solutions that work for you. If you’re concerned about vaginal dryness, itching or irritation, please do speak to your GP or a gynaecologist, or book an appointment with one of the doctors in My Menopause Centre.


Eleanor Gardner is the founder of Pelvic Relief.  She has a Masters’s Degree in Physiotherapy and a background in medical devices. All the products on her website have been carefully curated to allow people to successfully self-manage a range of conditions such as painful sex and pelvic pain. With a focus on health and wellbeing, products are thoughtful in design and expertly made, free from nasty chemicals and low-grade plastics. Manufacturers all meet strong quality control processes. Products are regularly recommended by Healthcare Professionals. All products are carefully packed and shipped discreetly from Herefordshire.

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