We have all heard the phrase, “If you don't use it you'll lose it.” This is not just some abstract cliche. That phrase holds a truth that extends into the human body. There is a medical condition known as Vaginal Atrophy. This condition is most commonly associated with menopause and an enormous population of women are afflicted by it. While you can't completely eliminate the risk of Vaginal Atrophy you can reduce it to a large degree by increasing your vaginal health. This is where the sage wisdom of “if you don't use it you'll lose it,” can be used to combat Vaginal Atrophy.
Vaginal Atrophy, also known as atrophic vaginitis, is a very painful condition that usually occurs after Menopause begins. It will occur when women experience a drastic drop in estrogen levels. During Vaginal Atrophy the vaginal walls thin, dry out, and become incredibly inflamed. This will lead to irritation, painful sex, and painful urinary symptoms(1). These symptoms are ongoing and will become worse if left untreated. Vaginal Atrophy impacts over half of postmenopausal women. Due to the painful symptoms of this condition the women afflicted with it often also have shrinking of the clitoris, shrinking of the vulva tissue, and pelvic prolapsing of their organs(2). Luckily, if you succumb to this condition there are accurate diagnostic methods and medical treatments for Vaginal Atrophy.
When women begin to feel these symptoms they can go to the doctor's office and undergo tests that will confirm whether or not they have Vaginal Atrophy. In order to determine if a women has Vaginal Atrophy the doctor uses a battery of three tests. These tests are a pelvic exam, a urine test, and an acid balance test. The acid balance test examines the pH levels of the vaginal fluids(3). After the results of these tests come in the women who have Vaginal Atrophy can finally get relief.
In order to give the women afflicted with Vaginal Atrophy relief they are put through different phases of treatment. Each phase is more intense then the one before. The doctors move on to the more intense phases of treatment if the women don't respond to the earlier treatments. At first the treatments will focus on relieving the irritation of the patient. In order to relieve that irritation vaginal moisturizer or water based lube are used. If those options don't work then the treatments escalate to topical estrogen in order to combat the source of the discomfort(4). If the doctor's decide to move on to topical estrogen then there are several options for administering that estrogen. The estrogen can be applied with vaginal estrogen cream, a vaginal estrogen ring, or a vaginal estrogen tablet. The vaginal estrogen ring is a device that is placed into the vagina and releases a constant and consistent dosage of estrogen. While the vaginal estrogen tablet is a pill that is placed inside the vagina which releases a consistent dose of estrogen to combat a hormonal imbalance. The phase of treatment beyond topical estrogen is Systemic Estrogen Therapy. Systemic Estrogen Therapy is used to not only treat Vaginal Atrophy but also Menopause. Once the doctor decides to prescribe Systemic Estrogen Therapy they will give their patients estrogen pills, patches, or high dose vaginal estrogen rings. Doctors might even combine estrogen with progestin during Systemic Estrogen Therapy(4). While Vaginal Atrophy most often occurs in postmenopausal women, there are ways for women to reduce the chances of it happening by increasing their overall vaginal health.
With today's modern medical knowledge women can't entirely remove the chance of Vaginal Atrophy, but they can drastically lower that chance. In order to do this all a woman need to do is improve their general vaginal health. This is where the old chestnut of “if you don't use it you lose it,” comes into play. A key way to improve vaginal health is regular sexual activity. Some think the reason for sexual activity helps vaginal health is the increased blood flow that orgasms cause. Whatever the reason, we know that women who have more sex, or masturbate more, have healthier vaginas. Leading to a lower chance of Vaginal Atrophy(5). When it comes to maintaining your vaginal health through sexual activity sex toys can be incredibly valuable. For the times when you don't have a sex partner and are masturbation bound you can pick up a sex toy. Sex toys will give you greater stimulation than hand-masturbation, meaning greater blood flow to the vagina, meaning a healthier vagina, meaning a much lower chance of Vaginal Atrophy. Sex toys will give massive benefits to your sexual health.
Postmenopausal women are afflicted by plenty of conditions and symptoms. One of those conditions being the pain known as Vaginal Atrophy. Vaginal Atrophy can be treated through medicine, but there is a way to reduce the risk of it ever happening. A key way to reduce this chance is by increasing your sexual activity as much as you can. Sex toys can be an integral part of increasing this bump in activity. Sex toys will become your medical tools for battling Vaginal Atrophy.
“Vaginal Atrophy: Overview,” accessed on January 17th, 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-atrophy/home/ovc-20200167
“Vaginal Atrophy: The 21st Century Health Issue Affecting Quality of Life,” accessed on January 17th, 2017, http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/561934
“Vaginal Atrophy: Diagnosis,” accessed on January 17th, 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-atrophy/diagnosis-treatment/diagnosis/dxc-20200176
“Vaginal Atrophy: Treatment,” accessed on January 17th, 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-atrophy/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20200195
“Ways to Reverse Vaginal Atrophy,” accessed on January 17th, 2017, http://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/can-vaginal-atrophy-be-reversed#Overview1