Feeling dry down there? Gynaecologist reveals why collagen can help vaginal dryness
Want to experience pleasurable sex during menopause? Is vaginal dryness one of your menopausal symptoms? Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Shree Datta explains why your vagina will benefit from extra collagen
Going through menopause is an inevitable part of a woman’s life, but the symptoms can vary massively.
These can include hot flushes and night sweats – but one of the most common symptoms which isn’t often discussed are changes which occur in and around the vagina, affecting sex, especially vaginal dryness
In fact, many women are affected by varying degrees of these changes, which can impact our relationships and lives significantly.
So what happens as we approach menopause?
Essentially, our hormonal levels fluctuate and oestrogen levels fall. Oestrogen helps to maintain the vaginal wall tissue, impacting the smooth muscle and collagen levels within the vagina and skin.
Our collagen levels fall as we get older naturally and this is accelerated by menopause. A fall in oestrogen, collagen and smooth muscle can make the vagina feel dry and tighter, with less natural lubricant, and the skin can feel thinner.
The amount and type of vaginal discharge we make can change also, the vagina and the surrounding skin may look paler and the bacterial balance in the vagina may also change.
This can make sex uncomfortable and as time goes by, it can become painful with breakthrough bleeding. This can affect your desire to have sex.
A fall in oestrogen, collagen and smooth muscle can make the vagina feel dry and tighter
Skin thinning can mean you are more prone to experiencing infection, pain or irritation and you may become sensitive to soaps and detergents. Even gentle friction from tight or synthetic underwear can be uncomfortable and having a smear test can be difficult.
For some women, bladder function can also be affected, with urinary leakage or ‘accidents’ becoming more common. These symptoms can have a massive impact on the quality of sex, pelvic floor health, your relationships and the quality of your life overall.
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How does collagen help your vagina?
Women don’t often discuss symptoms such as vaginal dryness with their doctor because it’s a difficult topic to discuss, they also may not have time to visit their doctor, and some believe it’s a natural part of ageing, with no remedy available.
But there are some ways to mitigate these symptoms which are worth exploring. In the first instance, consider how much oestrogen-rich foods you’re eating, such as linseeds, soya products and pulses, plus many more.
You can also try taking a daily drink with collagen peptides to strengthen the vaginal skin and surrounding area.
Studies have shown that this can make a key difference to your skin. Collagen peptides are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, pepping up your skin reserves.
In the first instance, consider how much oestrogen-rich foods you’re eating
To make sure you get the maximal benefits, select a trusted brand, such as Correxiko marine or bovine collagen powder, which is made with high-quality ingredients and make it part of your daily wellbeing routine to help replenish your collagen.
Remember, the symptoms you experience may not correlate with blood test results or examination findings so they can be under-diagnosed and under-treated, but this does not detract from the impact this has on your day-to-day lifestyle.
Whatever your symptoms, the bottom line is straightforward: if you notice a persistent change, go to see your doctor so that you can explore treatment early and prevent your symptoms from deteriorating.
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HEALTHISTA’S ANSWER TO MENOPAUSE; MENOSTART: PRESS PLAY, NOT PAUSE.
The Healthista Menopause Pack is a fully comprehensive online video workshop, led by Dr Dawn Harper; affordable, accessible and covering all aspects of the menopause, for those who need it most.
With expert advice and information from seven credible menopause industry experts, we hope that this online resource will help women navigate common health and wellness changes and challenges they may experience before, after and during the menopause.
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