Although all women will experience menopause and hormonal changes, many experience symptoms that can be treated. Vaginal atrophy is an unnecessary discomfort which impacts wellbeing and relationships. The decline of oestrogen production during and after menopause or medically induced by treatments such as chemotherapy or ovary removal causes noticeable changes such as laxity and lessened elasticity of the skin, decreased production of natural lubrication and more.
The change in hormones effects vaginal laxity and the production of natural lubrication which creates discomfort and interferes with intimate relationships causing painful sex. The decrease of lubrication leads to irritation, inflammation and can result in vaginal redness and a burning sensation while urinating. Unfortunately, many women believe this is a normal part of ageing and do not raise these symptoms with their doctor to treat.
When the vagina is affected by these changes it becomes dry, irritated, inflamed and less flexible which interferes in daily life and intimate relationships due to the discomfort. These changes can lead to an increase of UTI’s and stress urinary incontinence.
Vaginal laxity changes the structure of tissue in the vaginal wall due to the loss of collagen and elastin. Collagen acts a little bit like padding beneath the skin to keep texture smooth, supple and flexible; on the face, this provides a youthful appearance and for the vagina, this provides comfort.
The decrease of collagen and elastin is natural with ageing but becomes strikingly more apparent during menopause and hormonal changes which can be a shock and difficult to adjust to.
With medical intervention, vaginal atrophy can be improved with laser resurfacing to restore the texture of vaginal tissue and increase the production of collagen and elastin to help increase natural lubrication and comfort.
The symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy are vaginal dryness, redness and itching of the vagina, vaginal inflammation, urinary incontinence or increased urge to urinate, increased urinary tract infections (UTI’s), painful intercourse, possible bleeding after intercourse and vaginal tightening.
Vaginal Atrophy is difficult to prevent. It might be helped with a daily collagen supplement and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).