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Female Genital Disorders

Don't worry, you are certainly not the only one with those annoying symptoms, such as genital itching, irritation, poor vaginal lubrication, vaginal dryness and irritation, and even pain during intercourse (dyspareunia).

These are actually quite common symptoms in women of different ages and are often related to estrogen deficiency and to vaginal atrophy.

These symptoms, which tend to worsen over time, can appear with a drop in estrogen due to menopause (whether physiological, surgically induced or resulting from localised cancer treatment) in addition to temporary symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.

The discomfort resulting from these physiological changes associated with alterations of the vaginal mucosa can interfere with the quality of life and affect a relationship, and can cause low sex drive and lack of libido in some older women due to testosterone deficiency.

BUT WHAT IS VAGINAL ATROPHY?

Urogenital atrophy occurs following a reduction in the production of oestrogen by the ovaries, due to menopause or as a result of the treatment of some gynaecologic cancers.

This condition involves gradual thinning of genital epithelial tissuesvaginal and vulva mucosa, which reduces its thickness and becomes more fragile irritable and exposed to trauma.

Loss of cell glycogen (which contribute to vaginal flora balance) and reduced epithelial blood flow are factors that lead to morphological tissue alterations that add up to physiological and functional alterations:

  • vaginal dryness and lack of moisture
  • decreased vaginal discharge
  • increased vaginal pH level, exceeding 5.0
  • vaginal lactobacilli decrease and increased microbial antagonism
  • inflammation and burning sensation
  • itching and localised vasocongestion
  • leucorrhoea or abnormal vaginal discharge
  • sensitivity of the vaginal walls to friction and mechanical stress
  • levelling of vaginal rugal folds (due to collagen loss and reduced production)

 anatomy

The symptoms related to atrophy of vaginal mucosa and of the lower urinary tract during sexual intercourse can alter genital sensations or worsen existing symptoms, such as reduced sex drive and lack of orgasm.

Up to not long ago, this was attributed to the inevitable ageing process and therapies and treatments to improve vaginal physiology and fight disorders that worsened over time were not widespread.

Today, more and more women turn to medicine to improve the tone and functionality of that particular area. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor, who can guide you through the choice that best meets your requirements, based on self-knowledge, clinical judgement and personal experience.