Menopause and Masturbation

Menopause and Masturbation

When I advise people about enjoying sex I always recommend regular masturbation because it’s so good for your physical and mental health and especially during and post menopause.

Masturbation is a perfectly normal and healthy form of sexual expression allowing you to explore your body in a safe and pleasurable way. It’s the perfect way to discover what turns you on, what feels pleasurable, the type of touch and sexual sensation you enjoy and is a great way to tell and show a partner what you enjoy too. People often masturbate because they’re single and don’t have a sexual partner but many see it as an essential part of their self care and sexual health.

A study by TENGA (2018) found that 78 percent of adults in the world masturbate with 96 percent of British men and 78 percent of British women yet only 15% of the UK participants only thought it was important to talk about it with a close partner.

So why is masturbating during menopause so good for you?

When you masturbate it feels really good, it promotes the blood flow to the vagina and vulva, increasing your natural lubrication and boosting your arousal, it boosts your immunity, reduces stress, helps you sleep, eases pain, helps you to connect with a partner but you don’t need a partner to enjoy it, increases your chance of enjoying an orgasm during penetrative sex, it connects you with your own sexuality, it boosts your libido, it’s safe so no risk of getting a sexual transmitted infection or pregnant, it’s free, hassle free, pleasurable and lots of fun!

All those Feel Good Endorphins

When you masturbate you release feel good endorphins which make you feel happy, boost your mood and relieve stress. Often in menopause our hormones play havoc with our mood, leaving us crying one minute and filled with rage the next! Masturbation allows you to focus on one thing; therefore, if you feel stressed, take time out for a little “me” time. When we think of sex, our brain releases dopamine – a chemical which gives us a feeling of pleasure. When we engage in any form of sexual activity, endorphins are released which create a sense of well-being within our bodies.

Better Intimate Health

Masturbating improves the blood flow to the tissues of your vagina and vulva, helping to keep them healthy. Good blood flow causes your clitoris to swell, boosting your arousal and sexual sensation. It promotes your own natural lubrication which helps to keep the walls of the vagina moisturised and flexible, preventing vaginal dryness, irritation and tightness, often common symptoms during menopause, and making sex feel pleasurable

Bust that Stress!

Menopause can feel really stressful as you navigate a myriad of symptoms, hold down your job, care for children, family members, elderly parents and just try to keep everything under control. Masturbating can alleviate your stress, allowing you to relax, switch off the brain chatter and enjoy some quiet and very pleasurable time for yourself.

Natural Painkiller

Masturbating is probably the last thing on your mind when you have your period but having an orgasm can relieve cramps, especially if you find your period pain has intensified during menopause. The hormones released during sexual excitement can help ease menstrual cramps and the strength and intensity of the orgasm can affect the level of pain relief. Masturbating encourages blood flow to the pelvic area, and can alleviate back ache and relax the pelvis. Masturbation may intensify the cramping feeling for some women, so you need to experiment to discover what works for you. When you suffer with painful periods, anything is worth trying to alleviate the pain.

It can also ease other aches and pains, often problematic during menopause too.

Sleep, glorious Sleep!

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to boost our health and ­wellbeing, allowing our bodies the chance to replace and repair cells, to keep us healthy. Yet sleep is often disrupted during the menopause and beyond as many people experience night sweats, restless legs, vulval and vaginal irritation and the urge to pee frequently. Research has also shown that lack if sleep impacts upon our sexual satisfaction during menopause so getting a good nuight’s sleep is so important.

“Masturbation is a good sleeping pill,” according to Judith Golden, a registered sex therapist in Canada. Many people fall into a deep sleep after sexual intercourse following the release of endorphins which lower blood pressure, inducing a state of relaxation and the same can be said following masturbation. Many people rely upon masturbation to get a good night’s sleep or to drift back to sleep if they do wake up and it’s more fun than a glass of milk!

Kick Start Your Libido

Often people simply give up sex because they struggle with low libido and only view sex as full blown penetration which is just too much effort. Whilst HRT and testosterone can help some, regular masturbation can help kick start your libido and your sexual arousal in addition to being something you can enjoy with a partner. The more you masturbate, the more it will feel pleasurable and you’ll want to keep doing, which in turn, can help to boost your libido.

Try using a simple bullet vibe in the bath or shower, or indulge in some “me time” in bed.

Enjoying an orgasm

Some people who find it difficult to achieve sexual satisfaction with a partner can benefit from masturbation. The vast majority of people with a vulva orgasm through clitoral stimulation but often this can be lacking, non existant or simply not the right stimulation during penetrative sex. Regular masturbation can teach you how your body responds sexually, so you can communicate to your partner how to touch you, perhaps a light caress, barely there touch or you prefer a firmer touch. You can guide their hand or show them what you enjoy. Using a good sexual lubricant such as Sutil Luxe or YES organic lubricants can make masturbation feel great, especially if you experience vaginal dryness or atrophy.

It connects you with your own sexuality

Strict, cultural and religious upbringing and limited sex education all play a part in people believing that masturbation is dirty so some people feel shame about masturbation and touching their genitals. Many people struggle to masturbate because it means losing control when they believ they need to stay in control of ourselves. Being intimate with our partner means losing control over our inhibitions which some people find hard to do. Being in control means you are standing on guard, being aware of your surroundings and not being taken by surprise. Yet losing control means letting go and focusing on the pleasurable sensations running through your body.

Many sex therapists recommend that people who have never had an orgasm begin by masturbating. Being aware of the feelings of pleasure created throughout your body when touching your genitals enables people to determine what they find enjoyable, what they may have feared about self pleasure and having an orgasm by being in control of the situation.

It can improve self awareness and your sexual satisfaction because you understand how your body works, what sexual stimulation it responds to and how good it feels. People who masturbate have better sexual health because they are aware of how their body feels and discover how to pleasure themself. notice when something is not right. They are more likely to seek medical help and advice than people who do not masturbate.

Everyone should own a Sex Toy!

Some people find that their sexual sensation changes during and post menopause, they struggle to orgasm through manual masturbation with their fingers, their partner’s touch no longer works, their mind wanders or it takes much longer. This is where sex toys can really help because they offer completely different sexual sensations from vibrations of differing intensities, pulsation patterns that enable you to edge towards your orgasm, dual stimulation, thrusting toys, dildos, air pulse stimulation that gently teases and caresses your clitoris into submission. The LELO Sona 2 is the game changer we chatted about in Sex, Myths and the Menopause.What’s more, you don’t even have to move some toys, you just lie back and let pleasure flood through your body.

Masturbation on prescription?
Masturbation is so good for your physical and mental wellbeing many healthcare professionals would prescribed sex and masturbation if they could, including those we work with at Jo Divine, many of who recommend our sex toys and sexual lubricants to their patients!

With all these amazing benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing, why wouldn’t you try masturbation, after all it’s free, you can enjoy it alone or with a partner and most of all it’s pleasurable and lots of fun!