The aging process induces a host of changes in your body that you cannot control. These changes may lead to symptoms that interrupt or interfere with your everyday life. You can take steps to improve your health and continue your normal routine by learning how aging and other factors like pregnancy and childbirth can lead to the vaginal issues that you are experiencing.
Many women continue to take birth control well into their 30s and 40s. Along with preventing unwanted pregnancy and regulating periods, birth control can also cause vaginal dryness. It causes dryness in this area by blocking a hormone known as androgen. Androgen along with other hormones like estrogen work together to regulate and create lubrication in the vagina. When the production of androgen is inhibited, the condition of the vagina changes and becomes dryer.
Perimenopause can occur any time after the age of 40. This pre-menopausal stage induces changes in the vagina, most notably a loss of natural lubrication and elasticity. As you go through perimenopause, your body reduces the amount of estrogen that it makes on a daily basis. This reduction of estrogen leads to vaginal dryness and other vaginal issues. It also reduces the elasticity in your vagina, which can make sexual intercourse painful and more difficult.
Menopause leads to the most significant changes in vaginal health for most women. Menopause can occur any time from the age of 45 all the way up to age 60. It is generally defined as the absence of a menstrual period for at least one year.
While you may rejoice in no longer having periods, you may not like the unwelcome vaginal issues, most notably the lack of natural lubrication and elasticity. You also may notice the loss of collagen and fat in that part of your body. The loss of collagen, fat, elasticity and lubrication can put you at risk of developing infections in your vagina. In particular, you could develop small tears that can become irritated and infected.
You also could be at risk of vaginal prolapse, particularly if you experience significantly painful intercourse during menopause. Vaginal prolapse requires professional intervention to restore your appearance and function of that area.
Talk to Our Specialist
Changes to your vaginal health may be unavoidable as you age. If you are dealing with vaginal issues, make an appointment at the Georgia Center for Female Health. With offices in Peachtree Corners and Decatur, we proudly serve the Johns Creek, Duluth, Suwanee, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Brookhaven, Buckhead, Roswell, Alpharetta, Tucker and Atlanta areas with various OB/GYN and cosmetic services, including vaginal rejuvenation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about the available treatment options for your vaginal issues.