Written by Melody C. March 28, 2019
Vaginal atrophy during menopause: Why sex hurts, plus the symptoms, risk factors and solutions…
Older age and sex
For some women, sex after the menopause becomes exceptionally more difficult. A decline in estrogen is one primary factor, which can result in vaginal atrophy during menopause. Vaginal atrophy is the thinning and inflammation of the walls of the vagina. This tends to happen during or after a woman undergoes menopause.
Naturally, this leads to painful sexual intercourse. As sex becomes painful, it is less sought after, leading to many couples either forgoing sex and otherwise neglecting to remediate the problem. In addition to painful intercourse, vaginal atrophy can lead to disruptive urination problems.
Symptoms of vaginal atrophy during menopause:
Vaginal discharge: Leaking, milky fluid can be a symptom of many vaginal disorders.
Vaginal burning: This is an obvious giveaway that something is abnormal.
Tightened vagina: This could possibly be confused for vaginismus.
Frequent urination: Vaginal Atrophy can lead to an uptick in the number of visits to the toilet.
Burning during urination: This could be mistaken for a Urinary Tract Infection.
Light bleeding after intercourse: Any sight of blood should always be a cause for concern.
Seek a doctor’s input if you experience any of these symptoms during menopause.
Causes and prevention of vaginal atrophy
Risk factors for vaginal atrophy in the menopause include never having giving birth, chemotherapy, and surgical removal of the ovaries. All cause a drop in estrogen levels.
While about half of all women entering menopause will struggle with symptoms of vaginal atrophy, the majority are inhibited from seeking medical treatment due to their embarrassment with the topic.
A way of preventing vaginal atrophy from occurring is regular sexual activity or dilator therapy if you are not sexually active. Regular sexual activity increases blood flow to the vagina, keeping the surrounding tissues in a healthy state.
In the meantime, use water based lubricants during sexual activity to reduce friction that could further irritate the vagina.
In addition to lubricants, regular use of a vaginal dilator can also encourage healthy tissue and restore the elasticity of the vaginal muscles. VuvaTech offers vaginal dilators to treat several women’s sexual health related issues, and menopausal vaginal atrophy is one of them.
Consult your Doctor
Finally, If vaginal moisturizers don’t seem to take care of the problem, then seek out prescription estrogen therapy treatments, such as oral and topical estrogen. These are last case scenarios in the instance the aforementioned tips don’t have the desired efficacy.
Topical estrogen is just as efficient at lower doses, which is definitely better in the long run for women looking to avoid too much exposure of hormones to their bloodstream. Oral estrogen is in the form of a pill. It’s necessary to negotiate with your doctor to decide which treatment is best for your condition.