Dealing with Vaginal Atrophy
Going through menopause is challenging for every woman. The condition comes with plenty of annoying and frustrating symptoms, including hot flushes, changes in mood – and vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness places pressure on sexual relationships.
Intercourse hurts, and you'll find yourself doing everything you can to avoid sex with your partner. As a result of your absence from this part of the relationship, your partner might start to think you are no longer interested in them – worse yet, they could believe you are having an affair.
Stopping vaginal atrophy is vital to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle with your partner. Here are some tips you can use to overcome the condition and restore your reproductive system's health.
Menopause and the Vagina
During menopause, women experience a significant drop in estrogen production. The lack of this female hormone in the body starts to cause all kinds of physiological and phycological issues. Here is what you can expect to happen to your before and after menopause.
- Tissues in the vagina become thin and dry, losing elasticity.
- Vaginal secretions dry up
- Vaginal infection risk increases
- Changes in the vagina cause pain during intercourse leading to abstinence from sex with your partner
- As a result of abstinence, the vagina becomes shorter, tighter, and less elastic.
Women dealing with vaginal atrophy find that it impacts their quality of life, relationships, and sexual pleasure significantly.
Is Vaginal Atrophy the End of My Sex Life?
Many women are under the impression that menopause and vaginal atrophy signal the end of their sex life. However, the reality is that modern medicine has the answer to this problem. Today, women don't need to stop having sex after menopause.
Innovations in products and drugs mean that women can now enjoy a healthy sex life well into their senior years.
Vaginal Atrophy Treatment
Fortunately, there are exercises and medications you can use to prevent vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal lubricants – Water-based lubricants can remove friction and pain from intercourse.
Vaginal moisturizer – These products are different from lubes. They have a longer-lasting formula with a single application every few days. Avoid using the silicone-based lubricants; keep them for your toys.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Your doctor may prescribe HRT medications to raise your estrogen levels artificially. This treatment is effective for both pre and post-menopausal women. HRT options for vaginal atrophy treatment include the following options.
- Vaginal creams, you can use them two to three nights per week.
- Estradiol tablets for twice-weekly use.
- Estradiol ring placed in the vagina and changed every 2-months.
HRT is the most popular means of ramping up your estrogen production. However, it's important to note that there are risks attached to this treatment. Women who have a history of uterine or breast cancer may experience adverse effects from HRT, particularly over long durations.
Vaginal exercise – Kegels and pelvic floor exercises can help to slow vaginal atrophy and keep the muscles loose. You can use Kegel balls to strengthen the pelvic floor and restore the use of the muscles in your vagina.