Have you ever heard of vaginal depression? And vaginal atrophy? Although the names sound a little strange, these are problems that affect women around the world and cause uncomfortable and painful symptoms. As they are little known, most women do not even know they are in trouble and therefore do not seek any help. In today’s text, I will talk a little about the causes and treatments of the depressed vagina and vaginal atrophy. Pay attention and see if you don’t suffer because of any of them!
What is vaginal depression?
Vaginal depression, depressed vagina or vulvodynia is a serious health condition that affects about 16% of women, mainly between the ages of 20 and 30, although more mature women are not immune.
Although much less known, vulvodynia is more common than endometriosis and breast cancer. The problem is that until the last few decades the condition was widely considered to be a problem that only existed in a woman’s mind …
Women went to the doctor and said they felt pain during intercourse. The doctor examined them and the vulva and vagina looked normal. Therefore, these women were labeled as being afraid of sexual intercourse, or some other psychological disorder.
Even today, it is extremely difficult to diagnose vulvodynia. There is no specific test – the only reliable way to determine its existence is to rule out alternative conditions, such as thrush or eczema. It is a process of elimination and not all doctors are familiar, which is why a woman visits several different doctors before getting the correct diagnosis.
The causes can be very simple, such as having sex without being properly lubricated, trauma due to sexual abuse or after the birth of the first child. Others are already born with a much higher concentration of nerves in the vulvar vestibule than the normal population.
Once the condition sets in, the nerves can remain in a state of hypersensitivity for months or even years, and this can lead to ongoing problems. Some women who suffer from the effects of the disease may feel so much pain that they are unable to use tampons. Sexual intercourse can be particularly problematic and this can lead to other issues in the relationship.
The consequences of vaginal depression can be devastating physically, mentally and emotionally. It is a health issue that has profound effects on a woman and can affect many areas of her life, from intimate relationships to her career and self-esteem. See what are the main symptoms:
Many women believe that they have some type of infection and this error is common, since one of the most striking signs is itching, a typical symptom of the most well-known vaginal infections. If you do not have any abnormal vaginal discharge and still have a severe itch, you are probably suffering from this problem.
Vaginal depression is also known as “burning vulva syndrome”. A burning sensation is the most common symptom and can range from a little pain to the sensation of “having acid spilled on the skin”.
75% of women with vulvodynia testify that they feel an “out of control” burning in their bodies due to this painful symptom that usually occurs without other associates and in completely random times.
For some patients, the vulva is constantly sore. It can be generalized pain throughout the day or a more acute throbbing pain caused by sex, which lasts until several hours later.
Sometimes, specific parts of the vulva can also become inflamed and swollen, although things often seem “normal”, despite intense bouts of pain and discomfort. This is the main reason why vulvodynia is so difficult to diagnose. It is a nervous condition, not a skin irritation, an infection or a sexually transmitted disease.
The vulva is already a sensitive area. There are many nerve endings down there, which is why sex is so good, but the kind of sensitivity that comes from vaginal depression does not help any woman to have sex. Nerve endings may appear hypersensitive to anything that touches or rubs the area.
Another reason why vaginal depression can be so difficult to diagnose is because it doesn’t always hurt at one point (let alone at the same location) for all women. For some, the pain is located only in the vagina, but for others, the entire region of the vulva hurts. But it doesn’t stop there. The patients reported symptoms that affect areas ranging from the clitoris to the anus and even the inner thighs.
There are not many things more depressing than not being able to have sex. It is a basic part of human life. But for women with vaginal depression, sexual abstinence can become really painful. Ironically, one of the best ways to prevent vulvodynia is with sex. The sex cells promotes healthy collagen and elastin and maintain blood flow to the area.
Can it be treated?
There is no specific treatment for vulvodynia, and anything that is used is still quite experimental. But due to the highly intrinsic connection between the vagina and the brain, vulvodynia is often treated with antidepressants and other forms of therapy to adjust serotonin levels in the brain, rather than addressing the painful symptoms themselves.
According to research by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, low doses of antidepressants can relieve the condition by treating nerve pain. That’s where the idea of a “depressed” vagina comes from (although that doesn’t mean you or your vagina are literally depressed
Vaginal atrophy, what is it?
And when you think you didn’t have enough to worry about after realizing that a vagina can get depressed, we find that women are also at risk for vaginal atrophy. But Cátia, what is it?
Vaginal atrophy is a common but treatable condition that causes the vaginal wall to become thin. And while it can be a problem for women of any age, it is more likely to affect women who are going through or have gone through menopause.
Vaginal atrophy is usually caused by a decrease in the production of the female sex hormone estrogen. Estrogen is the main hormone that regulates a woman’s menstrual cycle and controls ovulation. It is also responsible for the thickening of the vaginal wall and causes it to release mucus when the girl reaches puberty.
So, if you stop producing estrogen, the walls of your vagina can become thin and dry.
The problem is more common in women who have gone through menopause, but certain cancer treatments and hormonal treatments can also cause atrophy. Women who are smokers, who have never had a vaginal delivery or do not have sex or pleasure, are also more at risk.
Depending on the severity of the condition, you may experience several symptoms, including:
- Burning sensation, especially when you pee
- Urgency to pee
- Urinary tract infections
- Mild bleeding after sex
- Discomfort during sex
- Vaginal dryness
- A shortening or tightening of the vagina
Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can be used to treat dryness and help improve your sex life. You may have to apply moisturizer every two or three days, but the effects usually last longer than the lubricant.
A lubricant is mainly used to make sex easier and more enjoyable. If symptoms do not improve, over-the-counter estrogen therapy may be recommended. Creams can be inserted into the vagina daily to restore tissue.
Estrogen pills can also be recommended to help restore the body’s natural levels.
Sex is the key
Intercourse and regular orgasms can really help to lessen the unpleasant symptoms of vaginal atrophy. And the key is to increase blood flow to the lower regions when you reach a climax. Through massage the blood flows and the tissue becomes elastic. So it is very important that we have a healthy sex life.
People often say, “I don’t have a sex life because I don’t have a partner.” However, this is no excuse! You can have a sexual relationship with yourself and be happy!
Increased blood flow increases the oxygen supply to the vagina, which means it is less likely to become inflamed, thin or dry.
If the cells are not receiving enough oxygen, they cannot eliminate tissue waste, which can cause inflammation that leads to problems such as vaginal atrophy.
An accumulation of toxins can also prevent vital nutrients from reaching cells, which can make the tissue a little weaker and thinner.
Losing the ability to have sex is not only a physical problem, but it can have serious side effects on mental health. This can lead to depression, anxiety attacks and serious relationship problems. If you identified with the problem of vaginal depression or vaginal atrophy, see a gynecologist. Don’t beat yourself up and put up with the problem quietly. You deserve a full sex life!