Just when you thought you had enough to worry about after realising having a “depressed” vagina is a thing; women are also at risk of vaginal atrophy.
It is a common but treatable condition that many women experience at some point in their lives.
And while it can be a problem for women of any age, it is more likely to effect women who are going through, or have been through, the menopause.
It is caused by the thinning and drying of the vaginal walls due to the body having less oestrogen than normal.
It can also occur in women who have had treatment for cancer or hormone
treatment for breast cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Common side effects include discharge, burning, itching, difficulty peeing and pain during sex.
Now, this might seem like enough to put you off having sex for good.
But regular orgasms, from your partner or a bit of self love, can actually improve the nasty symptoms.
And the key is the increased blood flow to your nether regions when you climax, almost like “exercising” down there.
Louise Mazanti, a London-based sex therapist, said: “It is very important that we have a healthy sex life with a partner or with ourselves.
“People very often say, ‘I don’t have a sex life because I don’t have a partner’.
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“But forget about that and have a sexual relationship with yourself.
“It is about using massage and touching the tissue so that it becomes alive, the blood flows and the tissue becomes elastic.
“It is really about exercising the tissue.”
Increasing blood flow helps keep the tissue around the vaginal wall healthy, which means it is less likely to become inflamed, thin or dry.
It makes sure enough oxygen gets to the cells in the tissue.
If the cells are not getting enough oxygen they cannot eliminate toxins and waste from the tissue, which can cause inflammation that leads to problems such as vaginal atrophy.
A build-up of toxins can also stop vital nutrients getting to the cells, which can leave the tissue slightly weaker and, therefore, thinner.
Louise said losing the ability to have sex is not just a physical problem, it can have some serious side effects for a person’s mental health.
“When your ability to have sex and your desire to have sex decreases it is a massive change in identity.
“You start to question ‘who am I now if I am not the sexual woman I used to be?’.
“It can cause depression and an identity crisis and deep consideration of an existential nature.”
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