Throughout most of your life, your vagina takes care of itself. It self-cleans, retains its shape and generally provides lubrication when you need it. But during and after menopause, you may have to take some extra steps to keep your vagina healthy and comfortable:
Menopause is marked by a decrease in estrogen levels, which may cause the lining of the vagina to become thinner and less flexible. This condition, known as vulvo-vaginal atrophy, can make the vagina shorter and narrower after refraining form sex for an extended period of time. Try to get it on with your partner on a regular basis to help limit discomfort.
Lower estrogen levels can also cause vaginal dryness, which may result uncomfortable sex. A personal lubricant can temporarily relieve vaginal dryness, whether you use it immediately before intercourse or for daily relief. Try a condom compatible lubricant like Astroglide Gel or Astroglide Liquid.
Many women avoid discussing the symptoms of vulvo-vaginal atrophy or vaginal dryness with their doctors out of fear of embarrassment. But if the effects of menopause are interfering with your daily life, you might need to talk to a healthcare professional. Don’t be afraid to describe your symptoms and ask questions. Your doctor will be able to provide options to help alleviate discomfort, from lifestyle changes to herbal supplements to hormone therapy, if necessary.
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