Many women consider “the change,” also known as menopause, to mean a loss of femininity or sexuality. It’s the opposite. Menopause is a chapter that no woman can avoid, and it’s normal to dread it, especially with the ageist stigma surrounding it. Many women feel like when they get older, they become invisible to society.
But instead of our womanhood fading away, it’s a reminder that you’re a champion. It’s an empowering new token of strength and perseverance that you’ve made it this far. After all, our brain is our most critical sex organ, so the way that we see our bodies and menopause is an intimate connection that we can’t ignore any longer.
What happens to our bodies when menopause hits?
A low sex drive: Lack of desire is a serious effect that can affect our self-esteem and body confidence. When menopause begins, low libido is a common side effect. You might not be aroused as easily, and your body might be less sensitive in your usual erogenous zones, which creates less sexual interest. Usually, this is caused by decreasing hormone levels of estrogen and testosterone.
Dryness: Unfortunately, this decline in both estrogen and testosterone drastically drops blood supply to your vagina, which causes dryness and a lack of natural lubrication. This can make sex painful.
Mood: Being in a positive state of mind creates a foundation for openness and intimacy. But with those fluctuating hormones comes mood swings, irritability, stress, and depression. Any medications you’re on might also add to this.
Tips to improve physical intimacy
Lube, lube, lube: Use as much lubricant as you want! This can heighten sensation and ease you into things a little more smoothly. There used to only be K-Y Jelly or Astroglide, but in 2020, there’s a whole encyclopedia of lube to choose from.
Get familiar with sex toys. This can revive your arousal both alone and with a partner. One of my favorite brands is Dame Products, which is an entirely women-run company offering mind-blowing toys like the Arc and Pom.
Rethink sexual positions. It’s all in the angle! Certain positions give you more control over the depth of penetration, which can make you feel more comfortable. A warm bath beforehand can be helpful, as can accessories like a wedge or pillow.
Ingredients and products that help your sexuality flourish
Besides lube, there are vaginal moisturizers on the market such as Luvena and Replens, which can help with dryness. For increased sexual drive and improved mood, there are chemical routes that women can take, such as anti-depressants and hormone replacement therapy.
However, these drugs often have risks that outweigh benefits and are not available for women who don’t have access to them due to financial struggles or local access. Instead, we’d like to explore natural alternatives that are more accessible for mature women: CBD.
CBD and Menopause
We all have an endocannabinoid system in our bodies, and different cannabinoids (compounds in foods and plants) interact with that system to offer different health benefits. Over 100 cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant.
Estrogen is a big part of the endocannabinoid system. This hormone controls a fatty acid called amide hydrolase, which breaks down other naturally occurring endocannabinoids. When menopause hits, our estrogen levels are all over the place, which negatively affects this system.
This is a big reason for the dryness, mood issues, and lack of libido that pre-menopausal and menopausal women experience during this time. Introducing external cannabinoids via cannabis strains can ease symptoms without side effects.
Why does CBD work just as well as pharmaceutical drugs? Because it affects our serotonin levels in similar ways. Hot flashes are brought on by stress, which CBD combats with ease. Both THC and CBD promote healthy blood flow to the pelvic area.
CBD products to regain intimacy
In terms of getting your libido active again, there are several brands in the cannabis space that cater specifically to this. My top picks are Quim Rock and Foria, two popular lines that tackle both dryness and arousal. They both sell lines of locally applied topicals and tinctures that are created for both vaginal health and sexual issues.
This unique health and sexual wellness company has been vetted for using only high-quality, meticulously lab-tested cannabis products within their Intimacy Collection. Foria has been around since 2013, and their products have been on my nightstand for a while, due to a clean ingredient list that’s ideal for sensitive skin like my own. Here are some crowd favorites:
Intimacy Natural Lubricant with CBD: A little goes a long way with this holy grail of lubes, filled with broad-spectrum CBD and organic botanicals free of synthetic ingredients. Its base is a velvety MCT coconut oil, and users describe it as a “warm and cozy” hug.
Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD: This is their bestseller, which works hard to bring you more pleasure while minimizing discomfort. It contains the same CBD formula as the lube, and along with heightened orgasms, reviewers find that it aids in challenges that come with menopause.
Intimacy Suppositories with CBD: These suppositories work wonders for easing the daily symptoms of menopause. When inserted before sex, it can prevent pain and make you feel more aroused. Afterward, it can heal soreness. For menopausal ladies, this suppository can be used as much as once a day to oxygenate tissues more while soothing pain from dryness.
Intimacy Bath Salts with CBD & Cacao: Before, we mentioned how taking a warm bath can cure your woes. The only thing that can make it better? CBD-infused bath salts. Supported with Epsom and Himalayan salts as well as cacao, this luxurious blend also contains notes of mint and rose. You can use this alone, or as the perfect foreplay with a partner.
Self-care line Quim Rock created their products because so many lubes on the market were made with glycerin, which causes urinary tract infections. Similarly, antibiotics taken for these UTIs leave you with even more dryness, which menopausal women can empathize with. Here’s a quick rundown of their enlightening products:
Happy Clam: moisture is key with this bestseller, a daily proactive health oil formulated with CBD that they call “eye cream for your vagina.”
Smooth Operator: This CBD-infused intimate serum will help you rediscover your mojo while decreasing inflammation, enhancing blood flow, and helping the pelvic floor relax.
Oh Yes!: This potent serum packs a punch in the bedroom. It’s infused with THC that relaxes the pelvic floor while promoting natural lubrication and goosebump-inducing sensation.
Night Moves: Night Moves is also a THC-based assistant for the bedroom, but it doubles as both a libido enhancer and a proactive health supplement, which is unlike anything we’ve seen on the market
Maca root for menopause
For women who aren’t comfortable with CBD or don’t have it locally available, consider trying red maca root. Maca has been proven to reduce the symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, dryness, and poor libido. It does this with nutrients that stimulate the body to produce more balance out hormones. Along with being chock-full of nutrients, it’s also an adaptogen, which means it supports the custom health needs of your body specifically.
My last word is to take this time to appreciate the transformative beauty and power of your body. Get to know yourself and don’t be shy. Walk around without a bra and masturbate without the covers on.
Women don’t get the support their need during this time, and sex after menopause is still a relatively taboo discussion. But we’re here to throw that shame out the window and remind you that we have your back, along with a goldmine of online resources and chat groups.