The symptoms of menopause we DON'T talk about.
Menopause is a natural part of the aging process. It can be the start of one of the most productive and satisfying times in a woman's life. It can also bring some uncomfortable changes that need to be managed.
Many women anticipate and talk about symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes or difficulty sleeping. But just as common — and less talked about — are uncomfortable symptoms like these:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal itching and burning
- Pain with intercourse
- Urgent or painful urination
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Bleeding during intercourse
- Pain when touching
These may be signs of atrophic vaginitis, also called vaginal atrophy.
(Click here to learn more about a local estrogen therapy option that is clinically proven to relieve the symptoms and discomfort of vaginal atrophy.)
When it comes to painful intercourse, silence is NOT golden.
Pain during intercourse due to vaginal atrophy can have an emotional impact on you by interfering with your ability to enjoy intimacy. In fact, pain and discomfort in the area of the vagina and external genital area can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. Open communication with your health care professional and your partner can make a difference.
Estrogen, Menopause, and Vaginal Atrophy
Estrogen helps maintain blood flow to vaginal tissue. This keeps the vaginal walls flexible and elastic, promotes production of natural lubricants, and helps protect against bacterial infections. However, after menopause, as estrogen levels decrease, the tissues lining your vagina begin to thin. Vaginal elasticity declines and a decrease in blood flow leads to fewer secretions and more dryness and cracking.
Thinning and inflammation of vaginal tissues can also occur in areas surrounding the vagina, including the vulva or outside of the vagina; the urethra, which is the opening of the bladder; and the inside wall of the bladder.
In addition, decreases in the normal acidity of the vagina may allow harmful bacteria to multiply and grow, leading to vaginal infections. Similar changes in the lining of the urinary tract can lead to more frequent infections there, also.
The good news is that vaginal atrophy is treatable. Click here to learn more about a therapy option that is clinically proven to help relieve the symptoms and discomfort of vaginal atrophy.
And, remember -- your health care professional is the main source of information about you and your health. Therefore, please consult your health care professional if you have any questions about your health or your medications.