In part three of our “Vaginal Atrophy” article series, we address living with vaginal atrophy and trying to make the most of life with it. If you missed “The Basics, Part One” or “Symptoms, Management, Treatment, & Prevention, Part Two” you could read them by following the links.
Outlook with Vaginal Atrophy
There is no need to simply “accept” and “just deal with” vaginal atrophy. Whether it was caused from menopause, cancer, long-term illness, or any other life reason- there are a multitude of options you can work through and try before considering defeat.
While there is no set cure for vaginal atrophy, there are numerous treatment options available and discussed in our article series.
- Kegel exercise.
- Lubrications & Daily moisturizers.
- Dilator Therapy.
- Hormone Therapy.
- Being sexually active.
- Laser Therapy.
- Surgical intervention.
Worsening Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal atrophy can morph, change, and worsen through the years. This is why paying close attention to your symptoms and those changes is vital. Notifying your doctor the moment you notice these changes can help you to avoid the worsening effects, and keep you on a proper treatment plan to keep your vaginal tissues moist, pliable, and functioning as you need them to. Ignoring or avoiding treatment will indeed allow your atrophy to worsen, causing more pain and issues.
Living with Vaginal Atrophy
Atropic vaginitis, genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), or vaginal atrophy- whatever you call this condition, the effects of it are a real hinderance in life when left untreated. The issues it causes are not solely limited to your sex life, but will interfere with your daily life, too. The pain, dryness, burning, and itching alone can make sitting in your favorite chair now a nightmare. Walking or exercising can become painful with any movement that moves the groin muscles. One in four women report that even with treatment, there are still rough days that atrophy affects their daily choices (HealthLine). This includes their daily activities, sleep quality, and general happiness.
It is important to prioritize your own health and sexual health with vaginal atrophy. Ask your healthcare provider for a treatment plan, or a sexual wellness expert for guidance on what holistic options to try. Report any new or changing symptoms to your doctor, and do not wait to seek out help if you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection (frequent, urgent urination, little output, burning when urinating, etc.).
Questions to ask your Doctor about Vaginal Atrophy
It can be difficult to start conversations about our vaginas and genitalia, but it is vital to seek out proper care when you need it. Consider these questions to help you to get started conversing with your medical care team about this condition and your issues.
- What over-the-counter options do you recommend for me?
- What prescriptions do you recommend for me?
- Is my condition temporary?
- Are there other ways to treat my condition?
- Are there any risks of treatment?
- How long will it be before the treatments work?
- Do I have another condition on top of the vaginal atrophy?
- What else can I do to stop the vaginal atrophy from worsening?
- What can my partner do to help?
Remember, vaginal atrophy can be treated and dealt with in a way that allows you to be comfortable and sexually active as you wish. Never hesitate to speak up for your own medical care and the things you want and desire in life.
Vaginal Atrophy Series: Part One, Two, Three