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10 Tips for Managing Vaginal Atrophy

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

10 things you can do to manage vaginal atrophyWhat can I do to manage vaginal atrophy issues?

Vaginal atrophy occurs when vaginal tissues become thin, dry, and irritated from decreased estrogen levels. It generally occurs during menopause, but if your have hormonal imbalance or health issues which decrease your estrogen levels, you could experience vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal dryness can be one of the signs of vaginal atrophy, but there can be a number of other symptoms, including burning, discharge, light bleeding, painful intercourse, and issues with urination. The symptoms can leave you feeling uncomfortable and miserable, so being able to manage them can increase your quality of life. Below are 10 tips to help you manage vaginal atrophy more effectively.

1. Talk to your doctor.

Left untreated, vaginal atrophy can continue to worsen over time. Besides causing pain and misery, you could find your vaginal canal because shorter and tighter. Working with your doctor, you can treat your symptoms as well as work to restore the health of your vagina.

2. Review your meds.

Some medications may contribute to vaginal dryness and thus vaginal atrophy. Cold and allergy medications not only dry out your sinuses, they can dry out your vaginal tissues, too. If you have symptoms of vaginal atrophy, it’s a good idea to discuss all of your medications, supplements, vitamins, etc. with your doctor to see if any of them are contributing to the problem.

3. Try over the counter products.

Vaginal moisturizes, vitamin E, or personal lubricants are some of the over the counter products which may help some of your localized symptoms. Using a moisturizer or vitamin E on a regular basis can help ease symptoms and provide regular moisture to the vaginal tissues. A personal lubricant before and during intercourse can make penetration easier and sex less painful, making it more enjoyable. It is best to avoid products with warming features and scents, as those could be irritating to the already sensitive tissues.

4. Consider estrogen.

Vaginal atrophy can be the result of low or no estrogen, so using some type of estrogen can be helpful. If you are dealing with menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be appropriate. Even when a diagnosis typically prevents the use of estrogen, a small amount of vaginal estrogen may be allowed to treat vaginal atrophy.

5. Soak in a sitz bath.

A sitz bath or soaking in the tub may help relieve symptoms, especially immediately after intercourse. However, you should avoid adding products which could irritate the tender vaginal tissues.

6. Be sensitive about your personal hygiene products.

The scents and chemicals in many products can be irritating to your vagina. Avoid using lotions, powders, bath oils, bubble bath, perfumes, strong detergents, and scented soaps in the vaginal area. You should also avoid douching and use only white, unscented toilet paper and pads.

7. Discuss dilators with your doctor.

Vaginal atrophy can result in a shorter and tighter vagina. To help improve elasticity of the vaginal tissues, your doctor may recommend using vaginal dilators with personal lubricant for a few minutes each day. Your doctor can help you determine the size and frequency that is best for you.

8. Engage in regular intercourse.

Intercourse can be painful when you are dealing with vaginal atrophy, but intercourse can also help treat vaginal atrophy. During intercourse, blood flow to the vagina is increased which can help keep the tissues healthy. It is important to take plenty of time with foreplay to help with arousal and moisture. Using a personal lubricant as part of foreplay and during intercourse can help also with moisture and reduce friction which can be painful.

9. Stop smoking.

If you are a smoker, now is a good time to quit. Smoking affects circulation and lowers estrogen levels, both of which can have a negative affect on vaginal atrophy. Smoking can also limit your use of estrogen to treat vaginal atrophy.

10. Be as healthy as you can be.

Staying hydrated, eating well, managing stress, and exercising regularly can all help you be as healthy as you can be. The more healthy you are, the better able you will be to manage vaginal atrophy, so make better choices for better 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.

08-15-2015 - 12:29 PM


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