Urinary health problems in postmenopausal women are associated with a poor quality of life, according to research findings. The researchers looked at data from 2,160 women aged 45 to 75 who reported at least one menopausal symptom related to vulvovaginal atrophy. Vulvovaginal atrophy causes symptoms like vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and urinary incontinence.
Women with severe vulvovaginal atrophy symptoms generally report a worsened quality of life compared to women with milder symptoms.
It’s suggested that many women with vulvovaginal atrophy symptoms suffer in silence. They don’t speak to their doctor about how they’re feeling or don’t realize that this is a treatable condition.
Lead study author Dr. Rossella Nappi explained, “It is important to give dignity to a set of symptoms that most people believe are trivial, not important, not relevant to be treated. Some people believe they will go away with time and do not understand the chronic nature of conditions that are not life-threatening but may significantly impact intimacy, self-esteem and body image.”
Menopause typically occurs in women over the age of 45. Symptoms include vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections, mood swings, joint pain, memory problems, hot flashes, and insomnia.
The study aimed to explore whether specific menopause symptoms impacted a woman’s quality of life.
Dr. Chandan Gupta, who was not involved in the study, commented, “The findings from this study confirm that menopausal changes have a significant impact on quality of life – this impact may be as significant as that of other common chronic medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and irritable bowel syndrome. Medical care is pursued routinely for these other conditions, but menopause-related changes in a woman’s vagina, vulva and urethra, such as dryness, irritation, soreness and urinary frequency are usually ignored.”
It’s important that women experiencing symptoms related to menopause speak to their doctor about treatment options in order to improve their quality of life.
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