Navigating Menopause Through Intimacy + The Benefits of Using Sex Toys During Each Stage

1 comment

Sexual Health Education: Navigating Stages of Menopause as it Relates to Sexual Wellness

As many of us with vaginas know, menopause is a stage of life most of us must endure. Despite the negative stereotype surrounding menopause, this experience is far from the end of a pleasurable sex life. Menopause is a significant transitional phase in the life of a woman, marked by a series of physical and hormonal changes that can have a profound impact on various aspects of an individual’s well-being. Understanding these changes and their effects on masturbation and sexual activity is crucial for individuals to navigate this transformative period with confidence and maintain a fulfilling and satisfying sex life. 

Menopause, Sex, & Masturbation

Menopause, the natural biological process that marks the end of a vagina owner's reproductive years, can have various effects on both masturbation and sex. One significant change experienced by many women during menopause is a decrease in estrogen levels. This hormonal shift can lead to physical changes such as vaginal dryness, reduced blood flow to the genitals, and a thinning of the vaginal walls. These changes often make sexual arousal and stimulation less comfortable, lowering libido and potentially impacting both masturbation and sexual activity. Studies show that the most frequently reported symptoms of menopause include low sexual desire (40–55%), poor lubrication (25–30%) and dyspareunia (12–45%), one of the complications of genitourinary syndrome of menopause, (Scavello, 2019). 

Many vagina owner’s find that they need more time or additional forms of stimulation to become aroused and reach orgasm. In a prospective observational study among more than 430 Australian women (aged 45–55 years), significant changes in sexual function were observed, including decreased sexual responsiveness, sexual frequency, increased vaginal dryness and partner problems, with a significant decline with age and menopause, (Scavello, 2019). 

Furthermore, menopause can also bring emotional and psychological changes. Fluctuating hormone levels can contribute to mood swings, decreased libido, and changes in overall sexual satisfaction. Some with vaginas may experience a decrease in sexual desire, while others may find their desire remains unchanged or even increases. 

Additionally, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue can also affect one's interest and ability to engage in sexual activities, including masturbation. Open communication, exploration of new forms of pleasure and intimacy, and seeking support from healthcare professionals can help women navigate these changes and maintain a happy and healthy sex life during and after menopause.

It is worth noting that these effects can vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience them to the same degree. Some premenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women have actually noticed an increase in sexual drive - most likely due to a relation of reduced stress and anxiety that could be linked to pregnancy and post-intimacy responsibility.

Click here to read our article on how to make time for masturbation.

Intimacy During Pre-Menopause, Menopause, and Peri-Menopause

Menopause is characterized by distinct stages that bring about a myriad of physical and hormonal changes: 

  • Pre-menopause
  • Menopause
  • Peri-menopause

As women progress through peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause, these shifts can have a significant impact on sexual function and intimacy. From fluctuating hormone levels to physical alterations in the reproductive system, understanding the stages of menopause and their effect on sexual health is essential for women and their partners to navigate this transformative journey with awareness and openness. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “most individuals experience menopause in their late 40s or early 50s, with the national average in the U.S. being 51-years-old, (Cleveland Clinic, 2023). Despite this, research shows that some may start their menopause journey as many as 10 years before even beginning peri-menopause” (, 2023).


Specifically, peri-menopause is the transition period that occurs right before menopause, when your hormone levels begin to decrease and ends when your ovaries no longer release eggs.  Peri-menopause can occur within a period of time ranging from a few years to a decade, with an estimated average of about four years. During this stage you may begin to exhibit some menopause-like symptoms including irregular periods, like menstrual cycles occurring closer together or missing cycles, and hot flashes. Common symptoms of this stage that may inhibit your regular sexual function include: 

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Frequent urination
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes including increased irritability or depression.  

To combat these symptoms try a different routined sleeping schedule, improved dietary options, practicing self-care methods to reduce stress like meditation or journaling, and using lubricant for vaginal dryness. 

As Dr. Batur explains,“This is a natural phase of life, so if your symptoms are mild, you may be able to make do with lifestyle changes like getting more sleep and upping your cardio. But if they’re really bothersome, speak to your healthcare provider, even if you’re still having regular menstrual cycles” (Cleveland Clinic, 2023). 

The stage of peri-menopause can be split into two separate categories - early menopause transition and late menopause transition. During early menopause transition your menstrual cycle patterns are likely to remain the same but you may begin to experience symptoms including hot flashes, weight gain, and changes in sleep, while late menopause transition is identified by irregular menstrual cycles, including skipping or prolonged periods.


If you haven’t had a period for over a year, unless your lack of periods can be attributed to a medical condition or medication you may be taking, you are considered to be experiencing menopause. The second stage of this menopausal cycle is marked by the absence of ovaries being able to produce estrogen or release eggs, this typically occurs around age 52. Although timeframes may vary and symptoms can range from mild to severe, menopausal symptoms can last between 7 to 10 years in total. 

Once reaching menopause vagina owners will likely experience some of the same symptoms they experienced during the peri-menopausal stage, often with a slight increase or decrease in severity including: 

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Lower libido
  • Pain during intercourse
  • And genital sensitivity, which can have major impacts on sexual function and desire. 

Learning what works best for you during the peri-menopausal stage, whether that be getting more sleep; exercising; reducing stress; eating healthy; using lubrication for vaginal dryness, or using alternate methods of sexual stimulation besides intercourse will help you cope with your symptoms and improve your sexual intimacy during sex and masturbation. 

If your symptoms are severe, or are seriously inhibiting your quality of life, don’t just deal with it and carry on. Tell your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing so they can help you with a proper treatment plan for your symptoms and ensure you are not suffering from an underlying medical condition.


After reaching menopause you begin to enter the post-menopausal stage. During this stage your symptoms will most likely begin to decrease in frequency and severity before ultimately dissipating all together. Despite this, it is not uncommon to continue to experience random hot flashes or bouts of poor sleep. During this phase, the body has fully adjusted to a new hormonal balance, but various physical and emotional changes can still affect sexual function. 

During this stage, continue to utilize proper lubrication for vaginal dryness, trying new ways to increase arousal, and using sex toys designed to ease painful intercourse, such as:

According to the American Heart Association, because of decreased estrogen levels, vagina owner’s in the post-menopausal stage are at an increased risk for more serious health complications such as osteoporosis, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, vaginal atrophy, heart attacks and mental health issues, (, 2023). 

Studies show up to 20% of postmenopausal vagina owner’s experience a significant loss of bone density typically occurring within five to seven years after menopause, (, 2023). 

Tell your doctor about the frequency and severity of your symptoms as they may be able to identify the early signs of these conditions. Eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D and work to maintain a heart healthy diet by incorporating fruits; vegetables; whole grains; low-fat dairy; nuts; and protein into your diet. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and prioritize weight-bearing exercises in your daily routine.

Best Sex Toys for Menopause & Their Benefits

Menopausal symptoms and factors including medication, stress, painful penetration, and more, can elongate the time it takes for a woman to become aroused, reach orgasm, and experience uncomfortable or painful sex. According to Bustle, on average, it will take 20 minutes or longer for a vagina to become aroused (Bustle, 2019).

But, that doesn’t mean you’ll never orgasm again, some even say they had the best sex of their life during menopause. Try simply taking your time with sexual activity, engaging in sensual foreplay and getting creative about what turns you on. Below are some types of sex toys and general sex tips recommended for those struggling with menopausal symptoms that inhibit your sexual function.

Clitoral Stimulators

There is a common myth that penetration is essential to orgasm, when in fact most vagina owner’s need some form of clitoral stimulation to reach full sexual satisfaction, regardless of menopause. Clit stimulators offer direct and external stimulation to the clit, bypassing potential vaginal discomfort caused by menopause. These toys also enhance arousal and sensitivity and promote increased blood flow to the genital area, potentially relieving vaginal dryness and easing discomfort.

Click here to shop the Paris Nubby Clit Teaser

If you’re experiencing pain during masturbation and/or penetration, it is recommended to use a small, flat-shaped, or slightly curved vibrator for external stimulation. Gently rubbing and teasing the clitoris, exploring different forms and techniques of stimulation, as well as purchasing a sex toy with different vibration levels to prioritize your pleasure to ease into new forms of intimacy may help reduce your symptoms and experience an orgasm to make you feel whole again.

Click here to shop the Contour Curve Clit Stimulator

Small Dildos

The petite size of smaller dildos allow for gentler and more controlled penetration, reducing the risk of exacerbating and vaginal sensitivity or pain due to menopause. Using a small dildo can also aid in gradually stretching and relaxing the vaginal muscles, potentially alleviating discomfort over time. Small dildos can additionally provide targeted stimulation to help enhance arousal and pleasure.

Click here to shop Ultra Veined Realistic Beginner Dildo With Balls


Dilators are designed to gently stretch and relax the vaginal muscles, which can be particularly helpful for women experiencing vaginal discomfort during sexual activity. Dilator sets allow those with vaginas to improve vaginal flexibility and alleviate pain. Regular use of dilators can even lead to increased comfort during intercourse which promotes a more pleasurable sexual experience.

If penetration or deep penetration is painful, it is recommended to utilize a vaginal training set which typically features multiple products in different sizes (length and thickness) so you can start where you’re comfortable and increase the size of the trainer when you’re ready.

Click here to shop Blush Wellness Dilator Kit

Pelvic Floor Exercisers

Pelvic floor exercisers, or kegel balls, help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles reducing symptoms of vaginal discomfort and improving overall sexual function. The increased muscle tone from using these exercisers can even lead to heightened sensations during sex, enhancing pleasure and arousal. Kegel balls offer an empowering way for menopausal vagina owner’s to take control of their sexual health.

Click here to shop Combination Duo Tone Kegel Ball and Pleasure Ball Exerciser Set

Small Vibrators

The gentle vibrations of a small vibrator can help increase blood flow to the genital area, working to relieve vaginal dryness and discomfort. Most vibrators also come with customizable levels of stimulation, allowing you to explore what feels best for you without irritating sensitive areas.

Click here to shop our Beaded Vibrating Bullet

Air Pulse Toys

New to the market, air pulse toys utilize gentle, pulsating airwaves to stimulate the clit without direct contact, something that can be beneficial for those experiencing sensitivity in the vaginal area. Air pulse toys offer a unique and non-invasive form of pleasure that promotes blood flow to the clit, reducing vaginal dryness. Lastly, much like vibrators, these toys offer customizable intensity settings that allow you to explore a range of sensations and discover what feels best to you.

Click here to shop Diosa Premium Clitoral Air Vibrator


When looking for a lubricant to ease vaginal dryness avoid perfumed lubes and tingling lubes they may include ingredients such as glycerin, parabens, perfumes, glitter, and alcohol

As they may irritate your vagina. A solely silicone or water-based lubricant is best when faced with vaginal dryness, though avoid using silicone based lubes with silicone toys as they may cause damage to your toys.

Click here to shop TooTimid Water-Based Lube

Communication with your partner

Communicate with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t during sexual activity. This will help you focus on your comfort and pleasure without anxiety that a position or sensation will cause pain, as well as allow your partner to support your sexual health during your menopausal journey. You do not need to carry this alone.

Find What Works For You

As vagina owner’s navigate the complexities of menopause and its impact on sex and masturbation, the use of sex toys can be a valuable tool in maintaining and enhancing intimate connections. Selecting the right sex toys that cater to individual needs, such as those designed for increasing arousal, addressing vaginal dryness, reducing vaginal pain or discomfort or providing additional stimulation, can help women embrace their sexuality with confidence and pleasure. 

Open communication with partners and healthcare professionals is vital in understanding and addressing any challenges that may arise during menopause. By adopting a proactive and compassionate approach, those with vaginas can embrace this transformative phase, exploring new avenues of pleasure and intimacy with the help of appropriate sex toys that cater to their unique desires and needs. With the right support and knowledge, menopause can become a time of empowerment and self-discovery, enriching the journey of sexual expression and satisfaction well beyond this remarkable life stage.


Scavello I, Maseroli E, Di Stasi V, Vignozzi L. Sexual Health in Menopause. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Sep 2;55(9):559. doi: 10.3390/medicina55090559. PMID: 31480774; PMCID: PMC6780739. 

What To Expect in Each Stage of Menopause. (2023, February 16). Cleveland Clinic.

The 3 Stages of Menopause: What to Expect. Retrieved July 26, 2023, from

The Best Sex Toys For Women During Menopause. (2022, February 9). Stella.

Story, R. A. (2021, September 27). How To Enjoy Sex During Menopause, Says a Sexologist. Well+Good.

Dr. Faught, B (2023, July 25). Sexual Enhancement for Women Experiencing Menopause. Bonafide.

1 comment

  • RR

    Coconut oil is a great natural lubricant recommended by some gynecologists. It is also relatively inexpensive and available in most grocery stores.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.