Menopause. It’s a time of massive change that can have a huge impact on your sexual health and wellbeing. We don’t all experience the same changes but one of the issues that is very common is a loss of sexual response. This can mean different things to different women but three common symptoms are a loss of sexual desire, problems becoming aroused, and difficulty achieving orgasm. But not everyone will experience all of these symptoms. Some women may find that their sex drive actually increases but being able to reach orgasm, or have sex without vaginal pain becomes more difficult. Sound familiar?
Trust me… you are not alone.
If any of these issues are affecting you, it’s important to know that you are not alone. In fact, far from it! Elisabeth Lloyd PhD, states in her book “The Case of the Female Orgasm”, that women of all ages commonly experience sexual dysfunction with only one in three reaching orgasm from intercourse alone. However, for menopausal women, this number increases significantly. A study of 13,882 women aged between 40 and 80, conducted by The Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors (GSSAB), found that the prevalence of sexual function in postmenopausal women is between 68% and 86%. If this sounds like an extremely high number to you, that’s because it is!
While the symptoms of menopause are distressing enough on their own, they also tend to have some far-reaching impacts. It’s been demonstrated that sexual dysfunction can cause low self-esteem, low quality of life, and emotional distress. Things which can also lead to relationship problems in the long run.
What causes these problems?
Once we reach 50, women have about half of the testosterone they had in their 20s. And, following menopause, much lower levels of estrogen too. These hormonal changes can cause vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal tissues, and reduced blood flow to the genital region. Unfortunately, these all work to reduce sensitivity in the vagina and vulva. This makes our arousal levels feel less intense or a lot harder to come by at all. Without arousal, we also struggle to become sufficiently lubricated naturally which can result in painful sex.
The breakthrough is understanding your stimulation-arousal-desire-pleasure cycle.
For a long time, our understanding of female sexual response has been based upon the 1960s research of Masters and Johnson. They established what is known as the linear sexual-response cycle of excitement/ desire, arousal, plateau, orgasm and resolution. However, contemporary research suggests that a woman’s sexual response is more complex, varied and non-linear. Linda Rogers, a Nurse Practitioner of Obstetrics/Gynecology at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, explains that our sexual response does not always follow the order of desire followed by arousal. In fact, many women can become aroused without desire as a result of engaging in sexual stimulation. Our arousal then triggers desire and our bodies become more sexually responsive. Effective stimulation of the clitoris also improves blood flow to the whole genital area. This works to further heighten arousal and improve vaginal lubrication. This leads to greater desire, less vaginal pain, and a better ability to achieve orgasm.
In her book “Radiant Again and Forever”, Dr Prudence Hall states that 10 minutes or more of nipple stimulation produces enough oxytocin for most women to become aroused and ready for sex. For some, it is also enough to prepare their body for orgasm during intercourse or through clitoral stimulation.
Clearly, effective stimulation is the key to regaining your sexual wellbeing. But following menopause, your body will likely respond very differently than it did in your 20s or 30s. Stimulation may need to be more intensive than before, and you may discover that very specific zones around your vagina, and elsewhere on your body, respond in different ways with varying levels of sensitivity.
Clinical sex therapists recommend Zumio for effective stimulation.
Zumio is highly recommended for postmenopausal stimulation by sex therapists and sex toy experts because of its pinpoint accuracy and versatility, enabling you to explore your body and discover anew how you can enjoy new levels of desire, arousal, and sexual pleasure.
“The Zumio has a SpiroTIP that whirls around in tiny circles allowing the user to find the most stimulating spots for them,” states Clinical Sex Therapist Sue McGarvie. “It can be used on the nipples, clitoris, and all around the vulva. It is that amazing circling motion combined with pinpoint concentration that enhances blood flow to the areas that ignite arousal. Zumio could be considered a Clinical Sex Therapy treatment for anorgasmia and other types of sexual dysfunction, not simply another sex toy.”
“Sexual Function in Elderly Women: A Review of Current Literature” published in Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dana R Ambler, DO, Eric J Bieber, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Michael P Diamond, MD.
“The Most Important Sexual Statistic”, Psychology Today.
– References the book “The Case of the Female Orgasm”, Elisabeth Lloyd, Ph.D.
“Sexual Dysfunction”, Healthy Woman, Linda Rogers, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner, Obstetrics/Gynecology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
“Radiant Again”, Prudence Hall, MD.