Vaginal atrophy is a condition frequently associated with menopause. Due to a decrease in estrogen, the vaginal walls become pale, thin, dry, and occasionally inflamed. Women may experience vaginal bleeding, tears in the vaginal tissue, and painful intercourse. Some women may not experience symptoms of atrophy until several years after their last menstrual cycle.
Vaginal atrophy can be addressed with non medical treatment. Remaining sexually active helps promote blood flow to the bladder, urethra, and vagina and thus decreases pain during sex. Lubricants and moisturizers can help with irritation and mild dryness. They can help to decrease friction. Lubricants are intended for use with intercourse, whereas moisturizers are applied more regularly. Some helpful products can be found over the counter or at www.MiddlesexMD.com.
When over the counter products are not helpful, women may opt to use hormonal therapy. Estrogen can help improve blood flow to the vagina, restore pH of the vagina, and increase elasticity and thickness of tissue in the vulvovaginal area. Depending on the woman’s other menopausal symptoms, estrogen therapy may be utilized in the form of pills, patches, rings, creams, gels, or pellets. Your provider can work with you to select the best option based on your needs and medical history.
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