It always seems like the things in life that are most enjoyable are bad for your health. But here’s some good news: Having regular sex as you age is good for you and can improve your health by preventing vaginal atrophy.
As many as 4 in 10 women experience vaginal atrophy during menopause or perimenopause. Vaginal atrophy is caused by the loss of estrogen during perimenopause and menopause. The lack of estrogen causes the vaginal walls to thin, sometimes leading to painful dryness and irritation.
How Sex Helps Prevent Vaginal Atrophy
The dryness and irritation caused by the loss of estrogen can cause you pain and discomfort during sex. This is something you want to avoid!
Your vagina is a muscle, and it needs exercise to stay healthy just as your other muscles do. Regular sex keeps blood flowing to your vaginal tissues, keeping them healthy and strong.
Reaching orgasm during sex is even better since it causes the vaginal muscles to contract.
Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy
Painful sex isn’t the only symptom of vaginal atrophy. Estrogen helps your body create a natural lubrication and keeps your vagina more elastic. When you start to lose estrogen, it can lead to a variety of vaginal and urinary symptoms referred to as vaginal atrophy.
These symptoms include:
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal and genital itching
- Frequent urination
- Frequent UTI’s
- Painful urination
- Pain and discomfort during intercourse
Risk Factors for Vaginal Atrophy
While any woman can suffer from vaginal atrophy, certain lifestyle factors may increase your risks. These factors include:
- Not giving birth vaginally
- Lack of sexual activity
Are you suffering from some of the symptoms of vaginal atrophy? Learn more about ways to treat vaginal atrophy by scheduling an appointment with the compassionate Gainesville and Lake City gynecologists at at All About Women.