Menopause Caused a Loss in Sex Drive? Go Shopping for Sex Toys

Perimenopause comes with a wide range of symptoms, and some of them can impact us in a big way. In fact, one of the most troubling symptoms for us ladies can be a dramatic dip in our desire for sex. Yep, our sex drive can take a dive due to changes in our hormone levels. However, declining libido does not have to mean that your sex life is over. Instead, it means that you might want to think creatively about how to reinvent your intimacy. 

We’ve got some tips you can try below, either on your own or with a partner, that will help you to maintain a vibrant sex life during your perimenopause and menopause journey. You may even make new discoveries along this journey, so keep reading!  

The Science Behind a Drop in Libido 

There are several reasons why some women experience a dramatic drop-off in sexual desire during perimenopause and menopause. For most women, it can be explained by the science of hormones. A fall in hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, can make us lose some of our inbuilt drive for sex, as well as making it more difficult for women to become, and stay, aroused. 

The decline in hormone levels can also cause physical changes. The hormone changes of menopause cn mean that many women struggle with vaginal dryness, which can make sex pretty uncomfortable. Although, it’s important to note that dryness is definitely an issue that can be corrected, so don’t feel discouraged. Don’t put up with painful sex, though - that can lead to muscle spasms that make things worse, and really impact your arousal and desire. Make sure to seek help at the first sign of a problem with lubrication.

Other contributing factors to the libido fall-off can include generalized stress, anxiety, and depression. Many women report a decline in their mental health during perimenopause and menopause. These mental health challenges may have a direct and negative spillover onto a woman’s sex drive. If a woman does not feel good about herself, she may struggle to see herself as a sexual and desirable woman. This can lead to a downward spiral.

So, What Can You Do About It?  

If your sexuality is important to you, then don’t fear. There are numerous steps that can help you address this decline in your sex drive and bring a healthy dose of spice back into your life. 

#1 Communicate Your Needs and Wants

If you have a partner, make sure that you keep your lines of communication open with them. Tell them what feels good for your changing body and what doesn’t. Also, let them know that you may need more foreplay to get in the mood. This is not about assigning blame, it is about finding solutions. We know that we all lose some of our ability to respond to touch as we get older - so taking more time to get warmed up can really benefit both of you.

It is often also important to add lubrication to make the process more comfortable. Different lubricants work better for different people, so make sure to test out a variety of options. Water-based lubricants are great for reducing friction, and work particularly well when you use them on your partner with an oil based lube applied to you, too. Silicone-based lubes last longer, but tread carefully - they can actually dehydrate your skin and add to vaginal dryness over time. Whatever you decide to go with, the fewer ingredients, the better!

#2 Speak to your Health Provider

It may not be right for everyone, but hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often really helps women to improve their libido, their mood, and how they are sleeping. Replacing estrogen helps to keep blood flowing into our pelvis and improves lubrication, vaginal dryness and also keeps the erectile tissues of the vagina healthy - meaning we are more sensitive to intimate touch. Options for HRT include tablets and patches, and some women will also benefit from applying estrogen or DHEA creams directly to the vagina and vulva. This option is safe for the majority of women and directly counteracts the physical changes taking place down there. Testosterone replacement therapy is also becoming more common in Europe and Australia, and is recognised to improve sexual satisfaction scores in women. All these options might help you get back in your groove and also make you more likely to enjoy a healthy sex life for many more years as you get older.

#3 Embrace Masturbation

Masturbation can be an incredibly healthy and exciting way to figure out what touch feels good, and to experiment a little with what turns you on. Working out how things feel best on your own, can lower the pressure of feeling that you need to orgasm. Sometimes, masturbation can be incredibly pleasurable, even if you don’t orgasm. But, as you become more comfortable with the practice, you may want to incorporate your partner in mutual masturbation. This is especially good as an option if penetration has become too painful, as it maintains intimacy between you and enables you both to still find pleasure in mutual touch. Many people find exploring each other's bodies like this to be a steamy addition to their bedroom routine. 

There are other benefits to masturbation too. For example, orgasm can release oxytocin. This release can help alleviate menstrual cramps and mitigate other pain that perimenopausal and menopausal women may experience. It helps us feel bonded to our partners, and improves sleep and emotional wellbeing, too.

So, the recommendation here is to experiment and then experiment some more. After all, practice makes perfect, right? Remember, there is no right or wrong way to masturbate, and there are no rules. Do what works for you!

#4 Bring In The Toys

Another great way to address a dip in sex drive is by incorporating a wide range of sex toys into your routine – try something new! In recent years, the sex toy market has exploded in terms of the number of options. Plus, the good news is, many of these products are now geared towards mature, female consumers. 

The Best Type of Vibrator For You

Perimenopausal and menopausal women may look for something slightly different in their toys than their younger peers. For example, many women, as they age, find it easier to experience a clitoral orgasm. Therefore, if you are shopping for a vibrator, you should look for one that is shaped just right to give you easy access to your clitoris. And, if you are experiencing arthritis in your hands, you want to make sure that your vibrator is not too heavy.

Another consideration to think about is that sometimes it takes perimenopausal women a longer time to reach orgasm. Therefore, you want to make sure that any vibrator you buy has a healthy battery life. There is nothing worse than a vibrator turning off right before you reach your peak.

Clitoral suckers

These clever little suckers are designed to pull blood into the clitoris and can be used during penetrative sex. They are designed based on the Eros device, which is often used by psychosexual therapists to help clients who struggle to orgasm. If you find that you go a little “numb” with a vibrator, or that internal stimulation is a bit uncomfortable now you’re in perimenopause, these guys can be a great option for your bedroom cabinet!

Dildos Are Fun Too, But Keep This In Mind...

In addition to vibrators, some women want to experiment with dildos. Dildos can be a great toy but there are some things that you may need to think about. First, dildos come in all shapes and sizes. As you age, a dildo that is too large may be painful for you. And, second, it may be important to use a lubricant with your dildo. After all, it can help you maximize your pleasure. 

You Can Keep Your Mojo Going 

Many women experience a dramatic decline in their libido during perimenopause, which can contribute to anxiety and other mental health conditions. But, perimenopause and menopause, and the accompanying changes in hormone levels, do not need to signal the end of your sex life. It simply means asking for help if you need it, and sometimes getting more creative. Creativity includes having open conversations with your partner if you have one, as they are on this journey with you! Another excellent solution for this libido dip is to consider hormones, estrogen creams and lubricants. Remember - embracing masturbation and adding some sex toys to the mix can be the kickstart you need to get back in your flow. Just make sure to pick ones that work with your body!