Have you noticed the changes in your body as you go through the menopausal transition? One day you feel fine, the next day you’re sweating up a storm because of hot flashes. One night you sleep like a baby and the next night you’re pacing around, unable to settle down.
Some changes, however, often don’t show up as noticeably. Take your vagina, for instance. It turns out our declining hormone levels cause the walls of our vaginas to become thinner and less elastic. The lack of flexibility hampers the ability of blood to flow through the area and, thus, create moisture. The combination of thinner vaginal walls and less moisture can lead to difficulty with sex and likeliness for irritation, injury and infection. These issues also are linked to vaginitis (an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain) and urinary tract infection . This video offers a good overview of vaginal dryness:
Importance of lubrication
Alternative Names Vaginitis - atrophic; Vaginitis due to reduced estrogen Symptoms Burning on urination Light bleeding after intercourse Painful sexual intercourse causing a loss in sexual interest Slight vaginal discharge Vaginal soreness, including itching or burning sensations Signs and tests A pelvic examination reveals thin, pale vaginal walls. A wet prep test of vaginal discharge may be done to rule out other causes for the condition. Hormonal studies may be done to determine if you are in menopause.
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