Estrogen is a hormone that is associated with sexual and reproductive development, but it also plays an important role in vaginal health. When the vagina is healthy, there is adequate lubrication to keep the tissues moist and elastic. When women come to understand the role of estrogen in vaginal health, they will know what type of symptoms to expect at the onset of menopause.
Estrogen is a hormone that is produced mainly in the ovaries. However, as menopause nears, less estrogen is produced, and this can impair vaginal health by causing vaginal dryness and shrinkage of the vaginal mucosa which can reduce the vaginal opening diameter and shorten the vaginal length.
Role of estrogen in vaginal health
- Assists vaginal lubrication: When there are sufficient supplies of estrogen, the tissues of the vagina are able to produce the amount of lubrication it needs for good health. When estrogen diminishes, the vagina dries out, which can cause intercourse to become difficult and uncomfortable.
- Enhances vaginal elasticity: Vaginal dryness leads to loss of elasticity, often causing the vagina to shrink, as the length and diameter decreases. This can also make intercourse painful as well.
- Contributes to the thickness of the vaginal lining: A thin vaginal wall increases the risk of tearing during intercourse.
- Helps sustain the good bacteria: The lack of estrogen can also interferes with the natural micro-flora of the vagina, and increases the risk of infection.
Hormone replacement therapy is often recommended to relieve these symptoms, and restore hormonal balance. For more information on the role of estrogen in vaginal health, contact Fowler GYN International (FGI). FGI is headed by Dr. R. Stuart Fowler. Dr. Fowler has extensive experience a range of vagina-related conditions, and has had consistent success in helping women overcome these troublesome vaginal problems.