Consequences of Untreated Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal atrophy often poses more than a mere nuisance for women who experience the menopause symptom. Here are some secondary consequences related to vaginal atrophy that persists and remains untreated.
Women with vaginal atrophy often struggle with recurrent vaginal infections (medically termed as “vaginitis”), due to shifts in the vagina’s Ph balance. Because the vagina itself is meant to be fairly acidic — guarding women against bacteria and yeast growth — yeast infections and other problems can arise when vaginal atrophy sets in.
Additionally, vaginal atrophy can also affect your urinary control, due to the close location of the vagina to the bladder itself. Some women experience stress incontinence as a result of vaginal atrophy, leading to urgent needs to urinate, or frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Other women may experience burning with urination related to vaginal atrophy, largely presumed to be connected to declining estrogen levels in the body.
Lowered Sex Drive
When vaginal atrophy leads to vaginal dryness, uncomfortable intercourse, or vaginal tearing or bleeding, sex simply becomes less enjoyable. Women may also experience difficulty climaxing due to declining hormone levels that concurrently trigger the atrophy itself. Women may also experience fewer – or less intense – orgasms as a result of atrophy in the vaginal muscles used during climax. As a result, many women find their libidos vanishing during menopause, in large part because of the painful, uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms associated with vaginal atrophy and secondary conditions. Romantic relationships can remain strained, as women find both their self esteem and the frequency of intimate relations declines.