A lot of women thought that menopause signaled the ends of their sex lives, and menopause is a huge change. But sex can still be good, and for women who are not willing to let their sex lives turn into a youthful memory are finding that one of the best tools to keep up a healthy sex life is a simple vibrator.

According to The Huffington Post, some doctors have taken to advising their menopausal patients to start using vibrators regularly. They say that regular vibrator use can help prevent sex from becoming painful, which can become a problem for a lot of women during and after menopause.

“When your vision started to fail, you didn’t give up reading. You went out and bought yourself a pair of readers. Same thing is true about sex,” said Dr. Barb DePree to the Huffington Post’s Ann Brenoff.

DePree says she’s been recommending vibrators to menopausal patients for years, and they can’t just be the kind of vibrator that just does clitoral stimulation, because vibrators that engage the pelvic floor–ie: the vibrators that also go inside–can help prevent muscle deterioration and stimulate pelvic blood flow. It keeps things in good working condition, basically, so penetrative sex feels good and is not painful.

Regular use also helps make orgasms stronger and last longer, which is good because a lot of women complain about orgasms becoming shorter and weaker as they get older.

It’s good that doctors are starting to talk to patients about vibrators and sex toys, because there are a lot of health benefits to using them, but still people can be a hesitant to try them because they think they’re dirty or embarrassing.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 52 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a vibrator. Is that really all? One would think that Sex and the City and the rise of online shopping would have pushed that number way higher. Amazon has tons of vibrators for sale, and they just show up in discreet Amazon boxes as though you’re buying socks or a new copy of Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook.

Getting a vibrator from a doctor takes a lot of the discomfort out of the equation for a lot of older women. You don’t have to road test, ask for opinions, go into a sex store, or even have to click the little “Yes, I’m over 18” box on an adult website. Just go to your nice doctor, pick out one of the ones she recommends, and go home and masturbate and feel just as virtuous about it as you would about exercise, flossing, and doing other things your doctor says you should do to stay healthy.

(Image: iStockPhoto / JackF)