While the changes to your sex life are not always at the forefront of your mind when you reach menopause – thank you, distracting hot flashes – changes to your vagina during menopause will indeed affect your intimate life.
But menopause doesn’t herald the end of your sex life, just changes to it – and vibrators can help, according to Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a menopause specialist at Yale Medicine’s Sexuality, Intimacy and Menopause Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven.
How Does Sex Change After Menopause?
The decrease in estrogen, as well as blood flow to the pelvic region during menopause, can have several effects, such as vaginal dryness, loss of sensitivity (not just to the vagina but also the clitoris) and narrowing or shortening of the vagina.
While vaginal dryness can be aided through the use of a feminine moisturizer and some sensitivity can be maintained through use of a kegel exerciser, one of the best ways to keep your body’s ability to enjoy intimacy in tip-top condition is, well, to continue enjoying the intimacy!
How Can Vibrators Help During Menopause?
As Dr. Minkin explained in an interview with Fab Over 50:
“Women who use vibrators regularly have increased blood flow to their vaginas and increased lubrication. That’s especially important for menopausal women who can experience lack of blood flow to the vagina due to lack of estrogen. Lack of blood flow contributes to vaginal atrophy, which we’ve talked about before. When it comes to your vagina: Use it or lose it! Sounds corny, but it’s true.”
Like any group of muscles, your vagina works best when it gets regular exercise. Using an internal massager can help with the more drastic changes of shape that may be responsible for painful penetration, but using a vibrator anywhere on the vulva will help stimulate the tissue and encourage blood flow.
Of course, using massagers to cope with bodily changes isn’t just for solo pleasure. Experimenting with a partner can be even more fun! Think of it as rediscovering each other’s bodies for the first time, and an opportunity to break out of your normal routines. Perhaps you treat each other to a sensual massage, without penetrative sex, or take turns showing each other exactly how you give yourself pleasure.
Emphasis on adequate foreplay (not forgetting the ever-important use of moisturizer), and openness to rediscovering what sensuality means to you is a recipe for sexual success at any age!