General

Sex After Menopause, Vaginal Moisturizers, Lubricants And Dilators

You have heard about hot flashes, sleep disturbances and weight gain.   Unfortunately, many women are unprepared and unaware that vaginal dryness and decreased vaginal elasticity are also very common occurrences after menopause.  After menopause there is a decrease in estrogen levels which can cause thinning of the vaginal tissue.  These vaginal changes may feel like a tearing or burning sensation. Sexual intercourse that was once pleasurable may become painful. Pain during intercourse is known as dyspareunia.

Research has shown that as many of 50% of menopausal women experience sexual pain. There are many helpful over the counter solutions such as   vaginal moisturizers, lubricants and dilators.

Many women are unclear about the difference between vaginal moisturizers and lubricants.

Vaginal moisturizers are used regularly over time. They are not specifically intended to be used during sexual intercourse. They are inserted in to the vagina and thus add a coating or barrier, much the same way as using moisturizer on your face. Newer types of moisturizers are now available with Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid helps lock in moisture and may be the first step to try if you are experiencing vaginal dryness.

Sexual lubricants are used during intercourse to help make sex more comfortable. Lubricants are used as needed. There are many types of lubricants on the market; some even have additives that claim to help with arousal and /or stimulation. But these additives can sometimes be more of an irritant than an arouser. If you are already dealing with vaginal dryness, these are not recommended.

Lubricants may be water based, silicone based, oil based or a combination. Never use a silicone lubricant with any silicone products, such as sex toys or vaginal dilators,  as the silicone in the lubricant can damage the product.  It’s best to use a high-quality, natural, water-based lubricant that is iso-osmolar, meaning its osmolality is the same as vaginal tissue. Osmolality measures the concentration of dissolved particles per unit of water. If a lubricants osmolality is not close to that of vaginal tissue it can actually cause increased dryness, something you definitely don’t want from your lubricant.

Vaginal dilators, especially the American-made silicone vaginal dilators from Soul Source Therapeutic Devices, are an extremely helpful tool to help with painful sex after menopause. These dilators resemble body tissue and are available in 8 progress sizes. Dilators are used to stretch tight vaginal tissue, and to gain confidence that the vagina can once again accommodate your partner.

Moisturizers, lubricants and vaginal dilators are all easily available tools to help you navigate the changes you may be experiencing after menopause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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