Menopause is the period after you no longer get your period. It happens to most people who experience menstrual cycles in their 40s or 50s, and the average age for menopause is 51.
There is a transitional period between seven and 14 years when you may experience menopausal symptoms due to fluctuations in hormones. This period is called perimenopause. After you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months, you are official out of this transitional period and in menopause. After menopause, you can no longer get pregnant, but you can still get pregnant during perimenopause.
Many people experience sexual changes during this life stage. You can still enjoy a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life, especially with the help of vibrators in menopause.
Signs of Menopause
Some people experience symptoms or side effects during menopause that they find troubling. Signs of menopause include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Slower metabolism
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Sagging breasts
- Irregular periods
- Frequent urination
- Low sex drive
- Fast heart rate
- Joint or muscle pain
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory issues
During perimenopause, you may experience the above symptoms plus:
- Tender breasts
- Lighter periods
- Heavier periods
- Worsening pre-menstrual symptoms
Some people also experience increased anxiety, especially regarding sex and the bedroom. This can be related to a general increase in pressure during menopause due to hormonal changes. However, it can also be related to your vaginal health.
During menopause, your estrogen levels drop. This can cause vaginal dryness, increased fragility and sensitivity of the vaginal tissue, and a loss of elasticity. As many as 10% of menopausal women report pain during sex. It makes sense that painful sex would make you anxious. Luckily, some things can help.
Some people use hormonal therapy to relieve menopause symptoms. Others prefer to keep it natural. There are many herbal and home remedies that can help to balance your hormones or relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Studies show that soy is effective at reducing menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes, but that it is only about 1/3 as effective as hormonal treatments. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based hormones that can function similarly to the estrogen in your body when you ingest them. Eating a diet with plenty of soy may also reduce your risk of breast cancer.
This herb is a member of the buttercup family and has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. In Chinese medicine, practitioners used it to treat pain and nervous system ailments. Native Americans used it to help with reproductive health issues like periods, childbirth, and menopause.
While there is an anecdotal history of black cohosh reducing hot flashes, more research is needed to prove its effectiveness. However, it is proven to reduce other menopause symptoms like depression, body aches, and tiredness.
Flaxseed also has phytoestrogens, like soy, and can help to reduce menopausal symptoms. Some studies suggest that supplementing with ground flaxseed can work and hormonal replacement therapy; however, other studies were inconclusive, so more research is needed to determine how effective it is.
Practicing meditation can help to ease menopause symptoms, especially psychological ones like depression, stress, and anxiety. Even if you have never practiced mindfulness or meditation before, anyone can learn and practice this skill.
Exercising during menopause has many purposes. It can improve your mood and keep your weight down. A higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with more hot flashes, so lowering your BMI can reduce these incidences. It can also keep your bones strong, reducing the risk of osteoporosis in menopause.
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Vibrators Relieve Menopausal Symptoms
Using a vibrator during menopause, either for solo play or with a partner, can help to reduce some menopausal issues, especially vaginal dryness and anxiety around sex. It can also make sex less painful and increase vaginal sensitivity by bringing more blood flow to the area. Plus, having more orgasms is excellent for your health in general. It boosts your estrogen levels, which can reduce menopausal symptoms.
During menopause, you may require more intense or direct clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Even before menopause, only about 20% of women can orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. The vagina is a muscle, and like any other, it is more robust and feels better the more you use it. It is common for sexual activity to decrease in general as you age. Using vibrators and dildos can help get your vagina back into shape to make sex feel pleasurable again.
Is Using a Vibrator Good for Vaginal Atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy, also called atrophic vaginitis, can occur anytime there is a drop of estrogen in your body, including during menopause. Experts say that regular sexual activity can help prevent this condition's symptoms, which are known as "genitourinary symptoms of menopause" or GSM. This condition can cause a lot of vaginal discomforts and issues with your bladder. Symptoms include:
- Vaginal burning
- Vaginal dryness
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Burning with urination
- Frequent need to urinate
- Urgent need to urinate
- Loss of bladder control
- Bleeding during or after sex
- Uncomfortable or painful sex
- Shortened vaginal canal
You are more likely to develop this condition if you are not sexually active. Smoking is another risk factor for getting GSM in menopause. You are also more likely to get it if you have never given birth vaginally.
Even if you don't have a sexual partner, you can use a vibrator to help prevent or treat vaginal atrophy. Make sure to use plenty of lubricant during playtime. There are also products called vaginal moisturizers that you can use to keep your vagina moist in general to be comfortable.
How to Stimulate a Woman During Menopause?
Menopausal Sex Tips
Sex does not end once you hit menopause. Many people have fulfilling sex lives in the menopausal phase of life. How can you enjoy sex more during menopause?
Follow these tips:
- Use plenty of lube to help with sexual discomfort due to vaginal dryness.
- If you're not getting in the mood, try stimulation to get yourself there. Use fingers or a vibrator. With a partner, oral sex can get your motor going.
- Include plenty of foreplay to give yourself plenty of time to get aroused. Foreplay ideas include a massage, watching porn, dirty talk, and taking a relaxing bath.
- Stay cool during sex with a fan or air conditioning. You can even use some ice cubes in your sexual playtime.
- Have sex frequently - either with a partner or yourself - to keep your vagina in great shape and feel its best.
- If you experience pain during sex, try different positions until you find one that works for you.
- If penetration is painful, try other materials and shapes of dildos. You might enjoy a smoother glass dildo or a specifically shaped toy.
- Try kegel exercises to decrease urinary incontinence and improve the quality and intensity of your orgasms.
- Check with your doctor to see if any medications affect your libido.
- If you continually have trouble orgasming, low libido, or pain during sex and you find it distressing, talk to your OB-GYN. They may be able to recommend a prescription or over-the-counter treatment to improve your symptoms and help you have a more pleasurable and active sex life in menopause.
- Even though you don't need to use condoms to prevent pregnancy, you should still use safer sex barriers to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Get tested regularly, especially if you have multiple sexual partners.
- If penetration isn't working for you, try other activities like oral sex, sex toys, massage, or cuddling. There are many ways to have sexual intimacy. Sex can be satisfying even if you don't orgasm every single time.
Can a vibrator help with menopause?
Even though your body changes in menopause, you can still enjoy sex. There are some sexual benefits to getting older. You know what you like, and you may be more confident in asking for the things you desire. You may feel more sure of yourself and confident in your body since you've lived in it for longer. Plus, if you're a parent, by the time you hit menopause, your kids may not be at home as much, leaving you more time to explore in the bedroom.
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Enjoying sexual activity can help you reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Using a vibrator is helpful for this, whether you are with a partner or on your own. Jimmy Jane has many quality products designed for your sexual wellness (and pleasure). We have designed our toys with room for exploration and creativity.
Our toys combine beautiful design, top-notch technology, and body-safe materials to make for toe-curling times in the bedroom, no matter your age.
With unique options for vaginal penetration, clitoral stimulation, anal play, and more, you'll find something that catches your eye to play with. Use our toys as part of your regimen to increase your sexual activity and prevent or reduce symptoms of menopause like vaginal atrophy and dryness.
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Is Soy A Remedy For Menopausal Symptoms? (March 2015). University of Rochester Medical Center.
What Black Cohosh Can (and Can't) Do for Menopause Symptoms. (July 2021). Cleveland Clinic.
Flaxseed. Mount Sinai.
Mindfulness may ease menopausal symptoms. (January 2019). Mayo Clinic.
Fitness tips for menopause: Why fitness counts. (March 2021). Mayo Clinic.
13 Benefits of Orgasms. (May 2020). Glamour.
Vibrator Treats Common Menopause Symptom. (August 2013). Huffington Post.
Vaginal atrophy. Mayo Clinic.
Yes, You Can Have An Orgasm After Menopause — Here's How. (May 2021). Healthline.
How to Have the Best Sex of Your Life After Menopause. (December 2020). Healthy Women.