At DAME, we want to break barriers and talk openly about what truly matters: your body.
With that in mind, we're delving into a topic that isn't discussed enough - how the vagina changes as we age. Like the graceful lines that appear on our faces with time, our vaginas also undergo their own unique transformations. So, let's skip the taboo and dive right into it.
Menarche to Menopause
From the very beginning of a woman’s journey, the vagina is constantly evolving. The menstrual cycle takes centre stage during the reproductive years, where menstruation and fertility become monthly companions.
As you sail through life, you then encounter menopause, a significant milestone that marks the end of our reproductive years. During this phase, hormonal changes lead to various shifts in the vaginal environment, and it's essential to understand and embrace these changes with love and care.
Hormones at Play
As we age, our hormone levels fluctuate, impacting the vaginal ecosystem. Oestrogen, the hormone responsible for maintaining vaginal health, starts to decrease during perimenopause and continues to do so after menopause. This can lead to symptoms like vaginal dryness, thinning of vaginal walls, and changes in pH levels, which may result in discomfort during intercourse. But don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to manage these changes and reclaim your comfort:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be an option for some individuals to replenish declining hormone levels. However, it's essential to consult with your GP to determine if HRT is suitable for you, as it may have potential risks and benefits.
- Engaging in regular sexual activity can help maintain vaginal elasticity and promote blood flow to the area, which can be beneficial for vaginal health.
- A balanced diet with sufficient nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids, can support overall vaginal health.
- Drinking enough water helps maintain overall hydration, which can positively impact the vaginal ecosystem.
- Be mindful of potential irritants like scented products, douches, or harsh soaps that can disrupt the natural balance of the vaginal environment.
Each person's experience with ageing and vaginal changes can vary. It's essential to find the management strategies that work best for you. That said, embracing these changes with proactive care can empower you to maintain vaginal health throughout the ageing process.
The Battle with Dryness
Vaginal dryness is a common concern among women experiencing hormonal changes. But there's a multitude of solutions to combat dryness and rediscover pleasure:
- Vaginal Moisturisers can help restore moisture and provide relief from discomfort.
- During sexual intercourse, using water-based lubricants can reduce friction and discomfort. It's essential to choose lubricants that are free from harmful chemicals and additives.
Lubricants, both water-based and silicone-based, can be your allies in maintaining moisture and enhancing intimacy. Opt for gentle, pH-balanced cleansers and avoid harsh soaps to keep the vagina happy and balanced!
Pelvic Floor and Strength
As you mature, your pelvic floor muscles may weaken, leading to concerns like urinary incontinence. But, luckily, there's an easy fix - pelvic floor exercises! Engage in regular kegel exercises to strengthen these essential muscles and prevent unwanted leaks.
Top tip: these exercises can lead to more intense orgasms, so it's a win-win situation!
Self-Care and Wellness
Just like the rest of your body, your vagina deserves some tender loving care. Make sure you’re regularly checking your vagina out and staying in touch with your vaginal health.
Throughout it all, stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet, and incorporate pelvic floor exercises into your routine to keep your vagina in top shape.
Talking with Your Doctor
If you're experiencing any concerns related to your vaginal health, remember that talking to your GP is a crucial step. Open and honest conversations will ensure you receive the best guidance and support tailored to your unique needs.
Ageing with DAME
So, celebrate the incredible journey of your vagina with love, openness, and freedom. Hopefully, with the help of our top tips, you can enjoy the beauty of ageing and the wisdom that comes with it.