Menopause: Habits and Treatments to Enhance Sexuality

When talking about menopause, the first thing that comes to mind is sexual decline. But this process that menstruating people go through should not be interpreted that way, but as a new phase of discovery, transition and self-care. This is not to say that there aren’t interesting treatments for maintaining sexual function, as we’ll see below.

A pause on the way

Menopause, the cessation of menstrual bleeding for at least twelve months, is caused by Decrease in ovarian hormonesEspecially estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes, it can also be brought on early by medical procedures, such as surgical removal of the ovaries or radiation therapy to the pelvis.

Hormonal change causes changes not only in the anatomy of the genitals, but also on a mental and emotional level. Loss of elasticity in the genitals and vaginal dryness due to reduced blood flow are evident. These changes can be observed with the help of a mirror.

There are also modifications that are not visible to the naked eye. The vaginal microbiota, which consists of microorganisms that protect against infection, lowers and alters the vaginal pH, which is the main cause of recurrent candidiasis (yeast infection).

Desire or libido also comes into play. Symptoms such as dryness, irritation or burning create a vicious cycle of pain.

The combination of these genital changes and discomfort, along with changes in urination, is the so-called Genital syndrome of menopause“and significantly worsens the quality of life of the victims.

So, does sex life have an expiration date?

Of course no! The biggest problem is the lack of treatment, which requires knowledge of symptoms and affects the quality of life of affected people. Until this year, professionals did not have a questionnaire to assess vaginal symptoms that cause sexual disorders.

In order to alleviate this problem, the teachers of St UCLM Faculty of Physiotherapy and Nursing We designed a assessment tool To measure changes in vaginal permeability. The goal is for healthcare professionals to be able to assess and provide specific treatment for each individual patient.

After discovering the problem, what should we do?

Let’s start with some simple habits that can help reverse your symptoms:

  • Take care of intimate hygiene. This is vital. The perineal area should be washed only with water or intimate soap with an acidic pH. These types of products contain the same pH that the vulva should have, which prevents dryness and increased itchiness or itching. In any case, body hygiene soap should be discarded.
  • Dress comfortably. Cotton underwear prevents the accumulation of moisture in the vulva and contributes to the stability of the microbiota.
  • Use a vaginal lubricant. its main function There is a reduction in friction caused by vaginal dryness, which relieves pain and irritation. The pH of the lubricant should always be between 3.8 and 4.5, and the osmolality (concentration of dissolved particles in solution) less than 370 mOsm/kg.

Two innovative therapies

There are also non-invasive treatments that show effective, long-lasting changes in the sexual health of menopausal people. Two of them stand out:

  • Vaginal CO₂ laser. revealed as a revolutionary option. Its results are due to microablation, a medical procedure that destroys the tissue of the vaginal walls in a controlled manner. This technique stimulates collagen production and promotes tissue regeneration, resulting in a true “anti-aging effect” in the vagina.
  • Recent studies It has been shown that the laser can restore the vaginal epithelium and improvements are also seen in the vaginal flora, helping to reduce dryness. There is a limitation: at the moment, its high cost prevents its availability for all budgets.
  • Non-ablative radiofrequency. It is operated by a device that emits electromagnetic waves that generate heat. When the temperature reaches 40ºC-41ºC, cells called fibroblasts are activated to produce more collagen.
  • This technique is less invasive than the vaginal CO₂ laser. At this moment is being studied The promising results of this treatment, carried out by physiotherapists specializing in pelvic health.

not to forget

Let’s remember: Menopause is not synonymous with decline in sexual life. Knowing the symptoms for a specific treatment is the key that allows us to enhance it. In any case, this stage of life provides an opportunity to explore new forms of self-care and sexual function.

This article was originally published in conversation. you can read here.

Source: El Diario

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