Sexual Wellness Resource Center
For Adults over 50.

5 examples of how vibrators have entered the mainstream of the 21st century

By Michael Bates, M.D.
  1. 50% of women 18 to 60 years of age have used a vibrator.
  2. 45% of men have experimented with vibrators.
  3. Couples report incorporating vibrator use is not a threat to the male and in fact, it enhances female sexual arousal, lubrication, and orgasm.
  4. Vibrators are used in pelvic cancer patients who have been treated with surgery and/or radiation, to help increase vaginal blood flow to combat the side effects of vaginal scarring, shortening, and dryness.
  5. This same therapy can be used for treating menopausal patients who do not want to use vaginal estrogen or who cannot use it for medical reasons, to maintain comfortable sexual function.

Today I am going to focus on the cancer patient. The biggest risk for getting cancer is aging. The immune system is key in destroying micro cancers that we develop continually throughout our lives. As we age, the immune system becomes less effective in combating these micro cancers which then permits the development of significant cancers.

As America’s population ages, more and more people will develop cancer. With the advances of modern medicine, people are surviving for many years after the diagnosis of cancer. Sexuality, sexual connectedness, and intimacy are important concerns for the cancer survivor.

Sexual rehabilitation requires a multidisciplinary approach involving psychological counseling, medical support, and lifestyle adjustments. Educational programs include information about alternate forms of sexual expression such as massage, caressing, digital, oral, and sexual aids stimulation.

Vaginal dryness is a side effect of surgery and/or radiation for pelvic cancers. It also is a side effect of some medications used in treating post-op breast cancer patients.   Whereas vaginal estrogen therapy would be the normal treatment of choice for vaginal dryness, oncologists are uncomfortable with estrogen therapy, even a small amount of estrogen vaginal cream.

Therefore, vibrator therapy is an alternative method to increase vaginal blood flow, which increases vaginal moisture. They are also helpful for women who need extra stimulation to achieve orgasm after cancer treatment.

Other sexual aids include vaginal dilators, also known as dildos, which can help lengthen and widen the vagina after cancer treatments have shortened, narrowed, or scarred the vagina.

At least one study has shown that patients who had previously undergone radiation treatment of cervical cancer demonstrated that several months of sexual aid, vibrators, and dilators, usage improved sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction.

These aids are helpful for self-stimulatory activity, masturbation, and as adjuncts during sexual foreplay.

All of what I have explained about cancer survivors also applies to menopausal patients. Vibrators are an alternative to, or an addition to, estrogen therapy for the treatment of vaginal dryness in the menopausal woman.

What is the take home message? Vibrators have come out of the closet.  It is not unusual to use sexual aids for clitoral stimulation and vaginal moisturization and, in fact, is an indicated alternative for cancer survivors and menopausal women. When you are ready to get your own vibrator, you can shop our store and choose the one that is best for you. 

Resources: www.vice.com/read/meet-the-yale-gynecologist-who-prescribes-vibrators-to-her-patients; Oncology 2006;71:18-25 Sexual Oncology: Sexual Health Issues in Women with Cancer; Radiation Oncology March 15, 2005,volume 61, Issues 4, pages 1078-1086, Clitoral therapy device for treatment of sexal dysfunction in irradiated cervical cancer patients; The Journal of Sexual Medicine February 2011, Volune 8, Issue 2, pages 549-559, Simple Strategies for Vaginal Health Promotion in Cancer Survivors; http://sexscienceand nature.com/good-sex/vibrators-go-mainstream/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Michael Bates, M.D.

Dr Bates practiced obstetrics and gynecology for 34 years in Wichita, Kansas, until his retirement in 2011.

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