Like your biceps and quads, your vaginal muscles get weaker as you age, leaving you with a loose, less grippy environment. But your muscles aren’t the only parts that change down there. Vaginal atrophy affects your delicate tissues and can lead to a host of complications.
If you’ve noticed some sexual and urinary problems crop up as you get older, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jerome Washington at LUNA MED SPA & WASHINGTON OB-GYN, P.A., in San Antonio, Texas. He can diagnose vaginal atrophy, recommend effective vaginal revitalization treatments to resolve your symptoms, and help you prevent progression and complications.
In addition to weakening muscles in your vagina and pelvic floor, your vaginal tissues undergo atrophy and significant changes during menopause, primarily triggered by the decrease in estrogen. These changes include:
While menopause is the most common cause of vaginal atrophy, estrogen dips can stem from other reasons, such as breastfeeding, oophorectomy (ovary removal), and some cancer treatments.
One of the first signs you’re experiencing vaginal atrophy is that you’re no longer producing enough lubrication, which leads to dryness and several other problems, such as:
You may also feel vaginal pressure you can’t explain.
Because these symptoms may indicate other health conditions, it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis from Dr. Washington. By identifying vaginal atrophy early, he can get you started on a treatment to rejuvenate your vaginal tissues and restore your health.
If you ignore vaginal atrophy, your symptoms may progress and cause complications, such as the following.
Vaginal atrophy leaves you vulnerable to the development of lesions, erythema (red patches), and other skin conditions like dermatoses that cause itching, burning, rawness, and pain.
Vaginal atrophy compromises the health of your urinary tract. You may experience:
Just as vaginal atrophy triggers lesions on the vaginal lining, it can also lead to lesions in your urethra.
The ligaments and muscles that make up your pelvic floor rely on estrogen to stay strong and healthy. When you stop producing this hormone, the support structures fall down on the job — literally. About 50% of post-menopausal women have a very weak front wall in their vagina, which allows the bladder and uterus to fall downward.
Estrogen-related physical changes are easy to understand, but hormonal imbalance and vaginal atrophy can also take a toll on your relationships. A dry vagina causes pain for you and uncomfortable friction for your partner. Because sex is a healthy part of your relationship, you may experience emotional disconnection if you eliminate sex.
Vaginal atrophy is specifically related to low estrogen, but childbirth can affect your vagina, too, regardless of your age, especially if you’ve had several children or large babies. The process can stretch out your vaginal tissues and make sex a sloppy, loose, dissatisfting experience.
We offer several treatments that can rejuvenate your vaginal tissues:
To find out which treatment best addresses your vaginal issues, call or click to schedule an appointment at LUNA MED SPA & WASHINGTON OB-GYN, P.A., today. We treat all of our patients with compassion, respect, and dignity.