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Vaginal Atrophy and Intimacy

From the Intimacy After Hysterectomy Articles List

What can I do about Vaginal atrophy as it is affecting my sex life?Vaginal atrophy is affecting my sex life. What can I do?

Vaginal atrophy is thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to low estrogen. As a result, vaginal atrophy can cause painful intercourse, which in turn leads to both a loss of libido and sexual dysfunction. It is most common after menopause, both natural and surgical, when estrogen levels decline.

Vaginal dryness as a result of vaginal atrophy can lead to genital stinging, itching, burning. These symptoms can make intercourse unappealing and even painful. As vaginal moisture is also necessary for intercourse, the dryness could lead to tears in the vaginal walls. These may cause pain and bleeding, causing you to avoid intercourse.

The thinning walls of the vagina can also tear more easily during intercourse. Besides making intercourse painful, these tears can lead to pain issues after intercourse and increase your risk of infection.

When sex becomes painful, it can be natural to shy away from it. Knowing it will cause pain can prevent you from having any desire, which in turn can prevent intercourse from being pleasurable in any way.

Unfortunately, "use it or lose it" is true when it comes to sex. If you shy away from intercourse and do not seek treatment for the vaginal atrophy, your vagina may shrink and shorten, further increasing your sexual dysfunction concerns.

There are several treatment options available depending on the extensive and symptoms. Estrogen suppositories or creams usually help reduce inflammation, increase natural lubrication and elasticity, and strengthen the vaginal walls. This in turn can enhance sexual pleasure and overall pelvic health. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can also help with persistent dryness and may be sufficient to relieve mild vaginal atrophy in those who do not wish to use estrogen products.

Though you may find it embarrassing, sit down and talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. S/he can help you find a treatment plan to aid in restoring your vaginal and sexual health.



This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.


08-06-2011 - 05:39 AM


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