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Keeping Your Vagina Healthy During Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Keeping Your Vagina Healthy During MenopauseEvery since your hysterectomy, you haven’t had to pay much attention to your vagina. No more bleeding. No more pads. No more scheduling around your period. Unfortunately, the good times seem to be over. Now more than ever, you’re way too aware of your vagina. It’s burning, itching, dry, and uncomfortable – it feels far from healthy.

The vaginal dryness and atrophy that’s arrived with menopause may be leaving you absolutely miserable. In public, you wiggle and jiggle as you try to ease the symptoms. At home it’s not much better because the symptoms may be making intimacy painful, putting a strain on your relationship. You need some relief and ways to make your vagina healthy again, despite menopause symptoms.

Check Your Panties

Believe it or not, the type of panties you wear can affect the health of your vagina. Some materials can limit airflow and trap moisture against your skin, creating an environment where bacteria can grow. How they fit can be an issue, too. If they are too tight, there can be skin irritation. If they are too loose, bacteria can be introduced to the area.

Have Good Hygiene

A clean vagina is important for good health – but cleaning up with scented products can make things worse. That includes bubble bath, soap, douching, and deodorized products marketed for the vagina. Any of them can be irritating, cause vaginal itching, and worsen vaginal dryness because they can mess with the pH balance of your vagina.

Treat Infections Promptly

Vaginal dryness makes your vaginal tissues more susceptible to tears and infection, and infection can worsen symptoms of vaginal dryness. So if you suspect you have an infection, talk to your doctor immediately so you can start treatment as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to have your annual exams with your doctor so you can try to prevent infections.

Use the Right Lubricants

Personal lubricants can be a must during menopause, but not just any will do. Water-based lubricants can be best. Oil-based ones may not wash off well, creating a risk for infection, and silicon-based lubricants may cause vaginal irritation and also be harder to remove. You should also avoid lubricants that advertise as warming, tingling, and cooling because those can irritate your tender vaginal tissues.

Practice Safe Sex

Just because you can no longer conceive doesn’t mean you can be lax about your sex life. The effects of vaginal dryness can put you at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). To minimize your risks, it’s best to limit your partners. If you do change partners or have multiple partners, be sure to use a condom. Use caution, however – vaginal estrogen and silicone lubricants can break them down.

Ask About Hormones

Lack of estrogen is a key reason for vaginal dryness and atrophy during menopause. Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can minimize menopause symptoms and keep vaginal dryness at bay, so ask your doctor if it's right for you. Vaginal estrogen is a hormone delivery option that can be applied directly to the vagina so you can use a lower dose to restore the health of your vagina.

Watch Your Diet

Eating well and staying hydrated are important for your vaginal health. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive sugar. You can also make yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, a regular part of your diet. It’s best to choose plain options and add your own fruit.

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.

04-23-2018 - 12:00 AM


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