Menopause and vulvar vestibulitis

Menopause and vulvar vestibulitis: what it is and how to treat it

A very frequent and equally annoying inflammation that often intervenes to complicate a picture of burning and discomfort during menopause do not leave alone. Here’s how to recognize and how to treat vulvar vestibulitis.

Burning, the sensation of having small wounds near the opening of the vagina and then pain during intimate intercourse. When the malaise hits the genital area it brings with it a difficult psychological condition: the mood on the ground, the difficulty in talking about it that turns into closure towards the outside, in dry answers, in bad moods.

A typical situation, also because the difficulty in having intimate relationships with the partner, especially during menopause when the general picture can become “naturally” more complicated, often becomes a frustration for the couple: he does not understand because he does not know what happens to you and thinks that your refusal due to other factors. You have pain and discomfort, you would like to explain but you feel embarrassed or – at first – you underestimate the problem thinking it is something temporary.

And then the only solution is to talk about it with your partner and the gynecologist, find the conscious courage to make an appointment and return to smile with the certainty in your pocket that you are doing everything possible for your health, to live peacefully and to continue. to love.

The vulvar vestibulitis is – in fact – one of those disorders that can be solved. Let’s see how and what it is.

What is vulvar vestibulitis and causes of infection

The vulvar vestibulitis is an inflammation of vulvar mucosa height of the vestibule, namely in the area which is located near the entrance of the vagina, the whole of the labia minora. The main symptoms of this discomfort are pain and burning, which can occur during intimate intercourse but also – and specifically with respect to this inflammation – during daily activities.

The specificity of vulvar vestibulitis compared to any other type of inflammation is that it can become chronic if not treated as soon as possible: this type of discomfort is defined, in fact, “neuro-inflammatory” because it also involves the nervous area of ​​the vulvar area. The nerves produce substances that promote inflammation (mast cells), triggering a vicious circle that can lead this vulvodynia to last for several years.

The most typical manifestation is a strong redness followed by numbness of the whole area and then swelling, dryness, itching, pain in contact with underwear, dyspareunia, and even the need to urinate often, so much so that it can be confused – initially – with a cystitis.

Vulvar vestibulitis can appear at any time in a woman’s life and even in menopause when the natural thinning of the vaginal walls, the change in the acidity of the vulvar area, and the increased possibility of contracting candida, can become complicit in an infection of this type.

In fact, there are no univocal causes for the appearance of this type of infection, but certain situations can be identified that favor the onset of vulvodynia :

  • Weakening of the immune system following repeated antibiotic treatments
  • repeated fungal infections
  • alterations in the vaginal pH
  • poor or no hydration and lubrication
  • changes in hormonal balances
  • situations of particular stress, anxiety, or fatigue

They can also be considered as triggers, where there is already a predisposition, the appearance of micro-trauma (following a poorly lubricated intercourse), or even a diet too rich in yeasts, irritating the urinary tract.

As you can see too, they are all contributing causes that represent typical manifestations in menopause. That’s why at this time in your life you need to pay special attention to the signals your body sends you.

Vulvar vestibulitis. It can be cured but early diagnosis is essential

Vulvar vestibulitis can be difficult to spot. There are women who try them all and when they complain of severe dyspareunia, after the usual exams, many gynecologists express a more favorable opinion of a psychological discomfort linked to the fear of having pain during intimate intercourse, than to real disease.

Especially in menopause when the decrease in desire and a certain intimate dryness can appear, in the couple relationship it becomes difficult to identify an infection that causes this sudden difficulty in being together. And so it can happen not to be understood, not to be believed.

“Unfortunately for decades if not even centuries – writes the gynecologist Alessandra Graziottin – female sexual pain was considered only in its psychological components. In reality, 10-15% of women, over the course of their lives, experience pain during intercourse: a very high percentage, which rises to 32-44% after menopause, when vaginal dryness makes any attempt at intimacy painful, complicating it with heartburn and cystitis “.

Therefore, intimate and relationship pain must be taken seriously, starting with those who feel it.

Talk to your gynecologist and shamelessly explain what you feel and what happens to you and what makes you sick. Menopause does not mean malaise but there is a need to find the right direction of treatment.

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