A little-known, painful condition can affect women’s vaginas if they do not have enough sex, an expert warns.
Vaginal atrophy — It is a common but treatable condition that causes the vaginal wall to thin.
It is a condition that can affect woman of any age, but it’s more likely to affect women who are going through, or have been through, menopause.
This is because the body produces less the female sex hormone, estrogen than normal, which has an effect on how the vaginal wall behaves.
Vaginal atrophy is generally caused by a decrease in the production of estrogen.
Women who are smokers, who have never had a vaginal birth or do not have sex or pleasure themselves are also more at risk.
Smoking affects your blood circulation, resulting in the vagina and other tissues not getting enough oxygen.
It also reduces the effects of estrogen.
Common symptoms include discharge, burning, itching, difficulty urinating and pain during sex.
This might seem like enough to put you off having sex for good, but regular orgasms orgasms actually help keep vaginal tissue healthy, meaning it is less likely to become inflammed, thin or dry, according to London-based sex therapist Dr. Louise Mazanti.
Sex – either with a partner or solo – improves blood flow to the intimate area, resulting in more oxygen reaching the vagina, which strengthens its tissues, she adds — it works almost like a “workout” down there.
Dr. Mazanti recommends women, or their partners, massage the vaginal tissue to improve blood flow and elasticity, leading to better genital health.
Increased blood flow also boosts oxygen in the intimate area, which helps to eliminate toxins associated with vaginal atrophy.
Aside from physical affects, regular orgasms also help to boost mental health by reducing the risk of depression and making women feel sexually attractive, Dr. Mazanti adds.
“When your ability to have sex and your desire to have sex decreases, it is a massive change in identity.”
“You start to question ‘who am I now if I am not the sexual woman I used to be?’”
“It can cause depression and an identity crisis and deep consideration of an existential nature.”
Treatment also includes lubricants, moisturizers, and hormone replacement therapy in severe cases.
Women should also ensure they are sufficiently sexually aroused before intercourse as the vaginal lubrication that results from sexual arousal can help reduce symptoms of dryness or burning.
Dr. Louise Mazanti and Mike Lousada have recently released a book called Real Sex – Why Everything You Learned About Sex is Wrong, the book is 230 pages, with 25 different exercises and can be purchased at major online booksellers.