Vaginal atrophy (VA) is when the vaginal walls thin, dry out and become inflamed due to the body having less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy usually occurs after menopause, but the ‘change’ is not the only cause of this uncomfortable condition.
Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy
VA not only makes intercourse painful but can also lead to uncomfortable urinary symptoms. Some may even hear the term ‘genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)’ because of the interconnected symptoms.
Urgency with urination
Burning with urination
More urinary tract infections
Light bleeding after intercourse
Pain with intercourse
Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal
Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
Causes of Vaginal Atrophy
There are many causes of vaginal atrophy and most woman may be familiar with some of them such as menopause, medications, or cancer treatments. The causes that are unfamiliar include childbirth, breastfeeding, certain immune disorders, and smoking.
The natural balance of chemicals in a vagina can be interrupted by certain soaps, lotions, performs, and douches. If the pH is thrown off, then dryness leading to atrophy is possible. The vagina produces two separate types of natural lubrication. One is produced by the glands for everyday maintenance. The slightly acidic moisture helps to keep the vaginal area clean, preventing infections while removing dead cells. Which is why some doctors recommend not using any soap when cleaning the vagina. The other natural lubrication occurs with arousal.
Exercise can cause vaginal dryness and atrophy. The irritation could be from something as simple as the wrong exercise clothing. For example, tight clothing rubbing against the vulva and irritating sensitive skin. Also clothing that traps in moisture can create prime conditions for a skin or vaginal yeast infection.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression can play a large roll in vaginal health. The body produces a whole heap of chemicals in response to stress and anxiety. When hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released, they course through the body giving symptoms such as sweating more than usual or disrupting the ability to go the bathroom regularly. Those chemicals also affect the balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease caused from the degeneration of the salivary and lachrymal glands that causes dryness in the body, including the vaginal area. There are two categories for Sjogren’s syndrome: the primary form, which occurs if you do not have other rheumatic diseases and the secondary form, which occurs if you already have another rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus.
Regardless of the cause of vaginal dryness or atrophy, it is very uncomfortable, but there are treatments available that offer relief. Hip Hemp’s In The Pink is crafted from luxurious healing hemp seed oil, Vitamin E, and deeply nourishing grapeseed oil. All of In The Pink products are estrogen and chemical free and designed to soothe, hydrate and restore the vagina.