As the level of oestrogen falls, the walls of the vagina become thinner, and the blood flow to this area is restricted, causing a lack of lubrication. Doctors describe this as vaginal atrophy, which actually means wasting away, becoming useless. It’s a nasty term, guaranteed to make any woman feel she is about to become a dried-up husk. In fact it’s a real case of ‘use it or lose it’.
Although the vagina does not expand so much, it is still quite large enough to accommodate an erect penis. But the thinning of the vagina can encourage bacterial infections such as cystitis. Staying sexually active is a must. Regular sex or masturbation stimulates the blood flow into the vaginal area, reducing dryness. The muscle contractions during orgasm promote the health of the vagina.
Your waterworks are also affected by vaginal changes. The lining walls of the bladder and urethra (the tube linking the bladder to the outside) shrink and become thinner and drier and can become more liable to infection if they crack and split. You may feel the need to urinate more frequently, or find you leak a bit when you sneeze, cough or laugh. The good news is that there are plenty of natural ways to deal with these symptoms.