For many years, there has been a general lack of understanding of menopause and its impact on the sexual health of people with vulvae. Much of this confusion stems from misunderstandings about hormone therapy. However, a promising shift is taking place—a menopause renaissance, if you will. There is real hope now in the treatment options available from health care providers who prioritize pleasure, grasp the nature of menopause, and are skilled in utilizing hormone therapy for effective management. Vaginal health is important for both men and women, and if you want to learn more about vaginal vaginal health related topics, you can also check them out on ootyemo.
Menopause is defined as the phase that begins 12 months after a person's last menstrual cycle. This marks the time when hormone levels no longer support fertilization. Menopause usually occurs in the early 50s and is often accompanied by a variety of symptoms:
- hot flashes
- Thinning of vaginal walls
- Vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse
- Changes in weight distribution, especially around the abdomen, as the body attempts to retain the estrogen produced by belly fat
- Loss of bone density
-Cognitive changes, such as brain fog and mood swings
Menopause is preceded by a transitional phase called perimenopause, which is characterized by changes in hormone levels, particularly a decrease in estrogen levels.
Perimenopause marks the stage when your body releases its last remaining eggs. Nonetheless, pregnancy is still possible and this is an important aspect to keep in mind. Perimenopause usually begins in your 40s and can include symptoms such as:
- Irregular menstruation (from no menstruation for several months to heavy bleeding)
- Sleep patterns are disrupted
- Mood swings
- Changes in sexual desire
Although these symptoms may seem challenging, there is a rapidly expanding market focused on sex and pleasure specifically designed for vulva patients going through this transitional stage.
What Should We Do?
About 85% of people with vulva will go through menopause, and about 85% of them may experience the symptoms mentioned earlier.
A recent national survey showed that 35% of menopausal women admit to experiencing four or more menopause-related symptoms. However, according to Susan Dominus in a New York Times article, only 44% of people disclose these symptoms to their health care provider.
This suggests a general hesitancy among many vulva patients to openly address their concerns about menopause-related issues to their obstetricians and gynecologists. An important factor contributing to this reluctance is the limited focus on perimenopausal and menopausal care in medical school curricula. As a result, some obstetricians and gynecologists may downplay or ignore discussions about these critical stages altogether.
Historically, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has long been stigmatized by previous studies linking it to an increased risk of cancer. However, advances in treatments and their delivery methods have shown considerable improvements. Current research highlights that hormone therapy remains an effective way to control symptoms such as hot flashes and genital changes, and can even help prevent bone loss and fractures. Notably, the North American Menopause Society now emphasizes the benefits of hormone therapy, particularly for women under 60, noting that the benefits outweigh the associated risks.
Drop In Estrogen
During perimenopause and menopause, estrogen undergoes the most significant decline among hormones. This decrease is often associated with the onset of bothersome symptoms such as hot flashes, cognitive fog, vaginal wall thinning, and difficulty with sexual arousal. Fortunately, for many people, hormone therapy is a reliable and safe option for effectively managing these symptoms.
Ways To Relieve Symptoms
We can try the following methods to relieve the discomfort caused by menopause and bring a better sexual experience.
1. Vaginal dryness
We can try lubricants, which can increase pleasure and reduce pain during sex. There are many common types of lubricants on the market, including water-based, silicone-based and oil-based. If you don't know what to choose, I recommend water-based lubricants, which are safe and work well with silicone sex toys.
2. Sexual desire
To maintain a healthy libido, focus on solitary sexual activities. This practice promotes blood circulation in the genital area and ensures healthy vaginal tissue. Additionally, it enhances your sexual awareness, allowing you to continually discover what brings pleasure and satisfaction to your body. I recommend this sex toy to you to experience the best solo sex.
3. Emotional changes
Given that hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can exacerbate anxiety and depression, consider incorporating mindful breathing exercises into your daily life. This free and simple practice can be used as a daily tool to block intrusive thoughts, especially before and during sexual activity.
Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, a component of the nervous system. This stimulation helps deactivate the fight or flight response and induces a "rest and digest" state. Achieving this mental and physical state is conducive to experiencing optimal sexual satisfaction.
If your menopause has arrived, please don’t worry too much. This is something that most women will face. Understand and face it well, and when necessary, you can use some tools and treatment options to relieve the discomfort caused by menopause. Please take good care of your body and embrace it!