Not only a decrease in desire, loss of lubrication and elasticity: in menopause other ailments and discomfort, such as vaginal tightening, can also change intimacy. Only a feeling that can demotivate you in the approach with your partner or a real organic condition? Here’s what you need to know.
The vaginal narrowing ( vaginal stenosis ) is directly connected with the hormonal changes of menopause. These cause a stiffening and thinning of the vaginal mucosa and of the walls that lose elastin and collagen. Interruption of sexual activity due to pain, other discomfort or misconceptions about menopause can worsen the situation and accelerate the stenosis process.
The hormonal changes in menopause , as well as often causing the trouble and inconvenience that you know, will also affect the female reproductive system . “Something is different”: sometimes just dryness, or loss of elasticity, or even itching and burning that can be linked to infections, irritation and, consequently, change the intimacy after 50 .
You cannot give a name to other sensations, such as that annoying sense of vaginal tightening . Is it just a perception or is it really so?
If you are struggling with this discomfort, read this article: we will explain if it is just a sensation or if a “narrowing” of the entrance to the vagina can really occur and what this can depend on.
This article has been carefully checked and validated from a scientific point of view by our doctors and gynecologists
Narrowing of the vagina: what does it depend on?
The decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone , physiological in this phase, is not only responsible for the end of the menstrual cycle and the most common disorders of menopause but also changes the female genital system .
Among these inconveniences, the most common are:
- vaginal dryness
- intimate infections or discomfort such as itching and burning
- thinning of the vaginal walls , which become more fragile (also due to reduced natural lubrication) and therefore are more prone to annoying lesions and sometimes with blood loss
- relaxation of the tissues, in particular the pelvic floor that, in severe cases, can lead to a uterine prolapse , with important consequences in everyday life.
These problems can often be linked to Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy , a chronic and progressive pathological condition that affects 50% of women in perimenopause and menopause and which, if not properly treated, could worsen over time and cause stiffening of the walls. vaginal with relative narrowing of the vaginal entrance.
Due to the thinning of the tissues and their “aging”, the mucosa gradually loses elastin and collagen . This is why the vagina can become stenotic (i.e. tight), rigid and short.
Narrowing of the vagina in menopause: just a sensation?
Love after menopause can change: the decrease in desire , the loss of natural lubrication or some discomforts that make certain moments embarrassing , could make relationships in menopause “different” or, in some cases, even love painful . But faced with that strange sensation of narrowing of the entrance channel of the vagina you cannot explain what is happening. It is normal to imagine that it is just a sensation and nothing more: a paranoia due to pain, dryness or other discomfort you feel since your period is no longer there.
In fact, vaginal stenosis can be caused both by a defensive contraction of the muscles surrounding the vagina (levator ani), in the case of dyspareunia, and by a progressive “connectivization” of the muscle and subcutaneous tissue due to aging and deficiency of hormones after menopause.
Narrowing of the vagina in menopause: this may be a sign of Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy
About 1 in 2 menopausal women complains of pain and discomfort during intercourse: a chronic condition (no need to delude yourself that it will pass on its own) that must be investigated with the gynecologist because it could be the symptom-indicator of Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy .
It is a progressive disease whose main symptoms are vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse, very widespread but still little known and under diagnosed.
Read here how to recognize the symptoms, what are the effects and possible treatments for Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy .
Narrowing of the vagina in menopause: what you can do
Do not let yourself be overcome by shame and embarrassment : in the face of this or other ailments it is essential to contact a gynecologist experienced in menopause ( you can find an updated list divided by city here ). Keeping on putting off the moment waiting for the annoyance to pass by itself (it won’t) only makes things worse.
Even if menopause changes intimacy, which can affect your relationship , you shouldn’t give up on love . Intimate well-being and couple’s intimacy are important for your psycho-physical balance, which is already particularly delicate in this phase of life which for some women can prove to be full of stress .
The sense of shame and inadequacy do not help your serenity and the risk of seeing anxiety mount can become more concrete than you imagine. There is a lot that can be done, but only on the advice of the doctor (from whom you can also be accompanied by your partner), to find harmony with yourself and with your partner .