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Vaginal atrophy 101: Everything you need to know about this painful condition

Published on:29 December 2020, 18:00pm IST
Vaginal atrophy can affect any woman. But you can keep it from plaguing your life by taking these simple steps.
Shreya Gupta
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vaginal atrophy
Preventing vaginal atrophy is in your hands. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Female health issues still carry a stigma and are not actively discussed. So, many women are not aware of what vaginal atrophy is. It is basically a condition when the vaginal walls get thin and dry, making intercourse really painful. Over time, it leads to issues with the reproductive and urinary systems. There is, however, more to this disease.

We talked to Dr Ranajana Becon, a gynaecologist at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad to understand this condition. According to her, “This condition mostly occurs after menopause. Reduced estrogen level in the body can lead to this change.”

So, how do you know if you have vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy does come with some common symptoms that you can look out for. Dr Becon says, “If you have consistent vaginal dryness, vaginal burning, vaginal discharge, genital itching, burning sensation during urination, very frequent urination, recurrent urinary tract infections or urinary incontinence, consider getting checked for vaginal atrophy.”

So, are you at risk? 

This condition is more common amongst post-menopausal women, but women who haven’t gone through vaginal birthing are also at risk. Moreover, a lack of sexual activity with your partner can also increase the risk of vaginal atrophy. In addition, smoking also increases your risk of developing it. 

Here are five ways to prevent vaginal atrophy:
1. Give up on smoking

Cigarette smoking not only affects your lungs but can also lead to vagina atrophy. Smoking affects blood circulation. Hence, it reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to your vagina. In addition, smoking also interferes with the function of estrogen.

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Quit smoking now to prevent vaginal atrophy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Stay sexually active

Sexual activity increases blood flow to your vagina and keeps the vaginal tissue healthy. So, stay sexually active. You can fly solo, or get with a partner but make sure you’re active down there.

3. Stay hydrated

Make sure you are consuming enough water and staying hydrated. This will prevent vaginal dryness. Don’t forget to have your eight glasses of water daily!

4. Don’t forget to exercise

Regular physical activity helps create a hormonal balance in your body. Hormones play an important role when it comes to vaginal atrophy. Hence, exercising can help you reduce the risk of developing the condition.

5. Avoid fancy vaginal products

Do not use products with artificial chemicals on your private parts. Intimate washes, sanitary napkins, and tampons that contain fragrances can lead to dryness and imbalance of vaginal bacteria.

So, ladies, you need to take care of your vagina to keep vaginal atrophy at bay.

Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.