You Are Here:Wrinkles ‘down there’ by Dr Heather Currie

Wrinkles ‘down there’

Writes: Dr HEATHER CURRIE, MB BS, FRCOG, MRCGP, DRCOG, MRCGP.
Associate Specialist Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Dumfries. Managing Director of Menopause Matters Limited.

You may not like it when wrinkles start to appear on your face because they are a sign of getting older, but you should love wrinkles in your vagina because it’s their disappearance that’s a sign of ageing.

While you put moisturiser on your face to try to keep the wrinkles at bay, it’s possible that vaginal moisturisers could maintain the desirable wrinkles for longer. They are called rugae, and they show that the tissue of the vagina is still elastic and well lubricated – with advancing age, this tissue becomes thinner, smoother and drier.

Vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) but under-treated because so many women don’t want to talk about it so they don’t seek help from a medical professional.

Certainly, vaginal moisturisers can be helpful in relieving problems associated with dryness, including sensations of burning or itching and pain, especially during sex. Often women don’t realise their symptoms are caused by dryness.

Vaginal dryness is the easiest of all symptoms to treat and incredibly common, but can have the greatest impact and severity. Flushes and sweats get better over time, but urogenital symptoms get worse, so treatment is important.

There is a lot of work going on to encourage doctors and nurses to talk to patients about GSM. The first guideline introduced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has helped but there is still a lack of awareness.

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