DOUGLAS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly 40% of women in the U.S. are over 55, but being post-menopausal isn’t what it used to be. A plethora of new information and products means women can go beyond a comfortable life to a pleasurable one. Menopause does come with some negative side effects - from hot flashes to vaginal dryness. But Dr. Barb DePree, a practicing menopause-care specialist, notes that a variety of products - short of hormones or pharmaceuticals - can mitigate symptoms. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can combat symptoms like vaginal dryness with some online shopping at sites like MiddlesexMD.com or a quick trip to a local drugstore.
“Each woman has widely varying menopausal symptoms,” says Dr. Barb DePree. “For over 50% of women, loss of sexual function becomes a problem. Thankfully, this is one of those challenges that can often be helped with over-the-counter solutions.” How can women find the right products to bring sizzle back to their sex lives? Looking toward Menopause Awareness Month in September, here are a few solutions Dr. DePree suggests menopausal women look for:
1. Vaginal moisturizers are an important way to address vaginal dryness. Used two to three times a week as part of a maintenance program, these moisturizers actually nourish vaginal tissues. Estrogen free Replens, for example, is a long-acting moisturizer proven in scientific studies to actually thicken vaginal walls, increase lubrication, and decrease painful intercourse. These are best started soon after menopause and not waiting until intercourse is uncomfortable.
2. A lubricant for use at the time of intercourse will increase slipperiness, decrease discomfort, and enhance intimacy. Lubricants come in several varieties; many midlife women find silicone lubricants longer-lasting, less sticky, and more slippery than their water-based counterparts.
3. Vibrators aren’t just for bachelorette parties. For midlife women, they can provide the additional stimulation needed to experience orgasm. And for couples looking for new ways to explore intimacy together, adding a vibrator can refocus attention on foreplay and fun.
4. The same hormonal changes of menopause that cause vaginal dryness can also contribute to discomfort and irritation on the vulva or outside of the vagina. Neogyn is developed specifically for this external tissue; it’s a cream that soothes itching, burning, and pain. By promoting healing, it decreases pain in day-to-day life and during intercourse.
5. Vaginal odor, itching, or irritation could mean your vaginal pH is out of balance; this can happen for a variety of reasons but is often associated with menopause. Test it with a pH screening kit or get relief with RepHresh Vaginal Gel to maintain a healthy vaginal pH.
6. Pelvic floor muscle strength affects not only continence but also orgasm strength. A variety of tools can help Kegel exercises focus on the right muscles. A new tool, Intensity, is a combination vibrator and pelvic floor exerciser. Scientifically designed to restore pelvic muscle tone, strength, and control with electrical stimulation while providing clitoral and G-spot stimulation mixes pleasure with business.
7. Mary Jo Rapini, a psychotherapist and relationship coach, reminds women that making love begins with the skin. To revive the art of lovemaking, wake up a sleepy libido by turning your skin on first. A fur mitt, body paint, and feather focus on touch, a part of lovemaking that is often skipped along the way.
8. If your doctor prescribes a clitoral pump for vacuum therapy, the Eros Device acts as a suction directly over the clitoris to increase blood supply which in turn can increase lubrication, sensation, and sexual satisfaction.
9. Support pillows enhance comfortable positions and provide a key to great intimacy. Ramp and wedge support pillows can be used alone or in combination to enhance your comfort and increase the options.
“The days when women stopped having sex because they’d reached a certain age are far behind us,” adds Depree. “With careful choice of the right products, women are enjoying healthy sex lives well into their 90s.”