Do This – Not That: Managing Vaginal Atrophy During Menopause
As a woman, you’re going to have menstrual cycles. And when those cycles cease – naturally or from a bilateral oophorectomy, – menopause arrives. It’s part of your DNA. Unfortunately, it may be an unpleasant experience because menopause tends to arrive with a lot of unwelcome baggage – one of which is vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy occurs when your vaginal walls thin and become inflamed due to a lack of estrogen. You’re left with a number of symptoms including vaginal dryness, burning, and itching. Sexual intercourse becomes uncomfortable, you’re susceptible to infections, and you may experience bladder problems.
If vaginal atrophy is making you miserable, you’re probably interested in steps to relieve and even reverse those symptoms. Here’s how.
- Talk to your doctor.
- Consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- Ask about vaginal estrogen.
- Try over-the-counter moisturizers.
- Use personal lubricants during sexual intercourse – but skip the warming products.
- Try soaking in an oatmeal (or similar) bath – but leave out the bubbles and soap.
- Use a sitz bath.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Use gentle detergents on your undergarments.
- Stay hydrated.
- Go over your medications with your doctor.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t give up on sex – ironically, sex can treat vaginal atrophy.
- Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, powders, etc. vaginally.
- Don’t use colored or scented toilet paper.
- Don’t douche.
- Don’t wear tight undergarments.
- Don’t wear soiled or wet undergarments.
- Don’t scratch – it’ll just make things worse.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- Don’t forget that only estrogen can restore your vaginal tissues – other products only treat symptoms.
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. Reprinted with permission: Do This – Not That: Managing Vaginal Atrophy During Menopause