Women’s Health Kuel Category Expert: Lisa King
When it comes to discussing menopause symptoms, there are many topics that often come up during conversation.
“It can cause pain after intercourse and can cause soreness or irritation in the vaginal area.”
Girlfriends will often discuss hot flashes, mood swings and weight changes. One symptom that is on the top of the list for many women experiencing hormonal changes in midlife is vaginal dryness. Unfortunately, this is one symptom that is often not talked about when midlife women get together to chat.
Vaginal dryness can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult to exercise or even walk at times. It can cause pain after intercourse and can cause soreness or irritation in the vaginal area. And vaginal dryness can even exacerbate symptoms of overactive bladder and cause other bladder issues.
Vaginal dryness is also the number one cause of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in menopausal women. Studies show that 53% of menopausal women experience recurrent UTIs which are defined as two UTIs in 6 months or three UTIs in one year.
Vaginal dryness can cause an environment in the vaginal area where good bacteria cannot thrive and the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections become more predominant. If you are experiencing recurrent UTIs please contact a medical professional for your best course of treatment options.
There are also prescription treatment options to discuss with a physician to prevent vaginal dryness and the troublesome side effects that accompany it. However; there are also natural options that can be incorporated into a daily plan of action that can help reduce some of the unpleasantness that accompanies vaginal dryness.
“Tight clothing can be irritating especially during exercise.”
Here Are 4 Simple Ways To Alleviate This Irritating Menopausal Symptom:
- Take a look at your bathing habits. Over cleansing the vaginal area can be irritating. Extreme fragrance in bath products can cause vaginal and bladder irritation as well. Be sure to look at ingredients in your soaps and cleansers. Look for products that are fragrance-free and without added harsh chemicals.
- Use a daily vaginal moisturizer. There are many brands available over the counter that can help with vaginal dryness. Many women even opt for natural oils like coconut oil, sunflower oil or grapeseed oil to help improve lubrication.
- Make dietary changes. Dietary changes can be helpful. Include foods that are rich in Omega 3’s and healthy fats. This includes foods such as olive oil, salmon and avocados. Consuming nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, flax, and chia can be helpful as well.
- Avoid tight and irritating clothing. Tight clothing can be irritating especially during exercise. Tight clothing can often exacerbate symptoms of overactive bladder or painful bladder as well. Look for loose fitting pants or skirts and dresses if your symptoms are especially bothersome.
Normal Part Of Aging:
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause that is often not discussed. While it is a normal part of aging for many women, it does not have to be something that is completely accepted. Talk to your doctor about treatment options and use the suggestions listed above as part of your plan of action to ease symptoms of vaginal dryness as well. You deserve to feel like the best version of yourself at any stage of your life!
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