The decline in the hormone estrogen and stress can be the cause of premature vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy is a vaginal disorder that often occurs after menopause. According to Medical News TodayAbout 10 – 40% of women experience symptoms of vaginal atrophy after menopause, but only 20 to 25% seek medical help. Because most women do not realize they have the disease and only feel the vagina is drier, there is a burning sensation, and they are afraid to have sex. Here are the factors that contribute to the severity of vaginal atrophy.
Decrease in estrogen
The most common cause of vaginal atrophy is a drop in estrogen after menopause. Because before this stage, estrogen in the blood of women helps protect the skin of the private area and stimulates vaginal discharge. When the ovaries stop producing estrogen, the vaginal wall becomes thin and discharge decreases; which leads to vaginal atrophy.
Stress can also increase the risk of vaginal atrophy, especially during perimenopause. Because when stressed, anxious, blood flow to the vagina will change and interfere with the lubrication in the body, leading to vaginal dryness. This leads to painful intercourse and possibly bleeding.
Smoking impairs blood circulation, deprives the vagina and other tissues of oxygen; thereby reducing the effect of natural estrogen in the body… leading to reduced blood flow to the vagina, causing vaginal atrophy.
Never had a baby
Women who have never had a vaginal birth are more likely to develop symptoms of vaginal atrophy than women who have given birth, the researchers said.
Chemotherapy side effects
Women who have recently been treated for breast cancer are more likely to experience vulvar and vaginal atrophy or have worse symptoms. This is because specific hormonal agents are used in chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.
Prevention of vaginal atrophy
Vaginal atrophy can affect a woman’s quality of life and ability to have intercourse. To prevent the attack of the disease, women should note the following.
Regular sexual activity can help prevent atrophic vaginitis. According to scientists, the process of intercourse will help blood circulation and increase blood circulation in the genitals; thereby making the vagina more elastic.
Exercise is also an effective way to prevent vaginal atrophy. For women, Kegel exercises work to tone the pelvic floor muscles, helping to control hygiene and vaginal tightness. Especially after giving birth, or the effects of old age and obesity, this pelvic floor muscle area is also aging, weakened and stretched. Therefore, Kegel exercises will help women regain firmness and health for the vagina, preventing vaginal atrophy.
In addition, other vitamins and supplements can help boost estrogen and reduce dryness such as: vitamin E, vitamin A, beta carotene, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, soybeans, flaxseeds.