Tips For Women Living With Vaginal Atrophy After A Hysterectomy
If you had a total hysterectomy and chose not to take hormone replacement therapy medication, then you are likely now living with vaginal atrophy. As the name implies, vaginal atrophy is a condition where the muscles and tissues of the vagina start to atrophy and lose their elasticity. The condition leads to painful sexual intercourse and often also causes itching from vaginal dryness. Thankfully, a lot is known about vaginal atrophy and by working with your gynecologist, there are many time-tested things you can do to reverse this condition.
Follow these tips for reversing your vaginal atrophy in a safe and pain-free manner:
Tip: Make an Appointment with Your Gynecologist to Discuss the Use of Vaginal Estrogen Cream
If you did not take estrogen after your hysterectomy because of the risk of developing breast cancer, then you might be surprised to learn that you can use a vaginal estrogen cream that does not leave the vaginal area. For this reason and to ensure that you are having an issue with vaginal atrophy and not a different condition, your first step should be to make an appointment with your gynecologist for a consultation.
Tip: If You Use an Estrogen Cream, Ensure You are Using It Correctly
Should your gynecologist prescribe you a vaginal estrogen cream to use, then it is vital that you understand how to properly load the applicator and use the medication. In most cases, you should use a larger dose of the medication during the first couple of weeks and then taper down to using less. You should never use more vaginal estrogen cream than is prescribed for you. Doing so can lead to estrogen getting into your bloodstream.
Tip: Use Supplemental Lubrication for Dryness
If your vaginal atrophy is causing itching from dryness, then you should use supplemental lubrication. For sexual intercourse, you should use a silicone-based lubricant or coconut oil. For daily use, you can place a small amount of coconut oil into your vagina each morning and it will keep the area moist and itch-free.
Tip: Use Dilators to Stretch the Vaginal Muscles
Finally, if your vagina has become smaller and tighter and sex has become painful, then you can use a set of vaginal dilators to stretch the muscles in your vagina and keep them flexible. You can purchase vaginal dilators over-the-counter, and the kit will come with an instruction pamphlet that tells you how to properly use them.
If you would like more informaiton on this subject, talk to a gynecologist from a clinic like Bee Ridge Obstetrics Gynecology.