What happens to your vagina if you don’t have enough sex – and why masturbating helps

Vaginal atrophy, or dryness, affects most women at some stage in their lives:

• Regular orgasms help to keep vaginal tissue healthy, reducing inflammation.

• Sex or masturbation improves blood flow to the genitals, boosting oxygen levels.

• High oxygen strengthens the vagina’s tissues and reduces the risk of dryness.

• Aside from physical health, being intimate also helps to boost mental wellbeing.

A little-known, painful condition can affect women’s vaginas if they do not have enough sex, an expert warns.

Vaginal atrophy, or dryness, is a common disorder that affects most women at some stage in their lives. Symptoms include discharge, burning, itching, difficulty urinating and pain during sex. Yet, regular orgasms help to keep vaginal tissue healthy, meaning it is less likely to become inflamed, thin or dry, according to London-based sex therapist Louise Mazanti.

Have a sexual relationship with yourself

Sex – either with a partner or solo – also improves blood flow to the intimate area, resulting in more oxygen reaching the vagina, which strengthens its tissues, she adds. Ms Mazanti said: “It is very important that we have a healthy sex life with a partner or with ourselves.” She recommends women, or their partners, massage the vaginal tissue to improve blood flow and elasticity, leading to better genital health.

Increased blood flow also boosts oxygen in the intimate area, which helps to eliminate toxins associated with vaginal atrophy.

Orgasms boost mental health

Aside from physical health, regular orgasms also help to boost mental wellbeing by reducing the risk of depression and making women feel sexually attractive, Ms Manzanti adds.

This comes after research revealed having sex once a week slows ageing in women, even if they do not enjoy it.

Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco found being active between the sheets increases the length of women’s telomeres. These ‘cap’ the end of DNA strands, with longer lengths being associated with slower ageing, longer lifespans and improved overall health.

Women’s telomeres lengthen with regular love making regardless of whether they are sexually satisfied in their relationship, the research adds.

(excerpts from an article by health reporter Alexander Thompson)