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Menopause Monday: Vaginal Atrophy

HEALTH, MENOPAUSE
Gabrielle Vaughn | VenusBlogs Editor at Large


Each and every Monday, VenusBlogs will be sharing valuable information for those of you who are interested in the topic of menopause. While our mothers prepared us for the physical and mental challenges of menstruation and childbearing, the only thing we’ve ever really heard about when it comes to menopause is the concept of night sweats and hot flashes.

Truly, there is so much more. Now, the discussion is open and the knowledge is available. While some women call it the third act, others call it their second puberty. Whatever menopause means to each individual woman, it is an inevitability for all of us and understanding it is the key to happier and healthier vaginal health.

Today, we shed light on something called vaginal atrophy. Sounds a lot scarier than it is, but nothing to fear — we live in a day and age where relief now comes in the form of something VenusBlogs likes to call “intimate skincare”.

Timothy Boyer, of EmaxHealth, writes:

Vagina atrophy is the thinning and inflammation of the inner walls of the vagina that typically develops due to a decrease in estrogen levels.

Decreased estrogen levels can occur:

• During breast-feeding
• During the years just before menopause (perimenopause)
• After menopause
• After surgical removal of both ovaries
• After pelvic radiation therapy for cancer
• After chemotherapy for cancer
• As a side effect of breast cancer hormonal treatment

Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include:

• Vaginal dryness
• Vaginal burning
• Burning with urination
• Urinary tract infections
• Urgency with urination
• Urinary incontinence
• Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal
• Discomfort with intercourse
• Light bleeding after intercourse

The bane of vaginal atrophy is that for many women it makes sexual intercourse very painful, which can then lead to a decreased interest in sex to the point of total abstinence for the rest of their lives and thereby becomes not just a health issue, but a quality of life issue as well.

For more information, please read: Is Your Vagina Dying? There’s a Guide for That!