Collagen is a protein building block for your skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It's the glue that holds these structures together. There are many different types of collagen that are in your body and together, these play an important role in the elasticity and composition of the vagina.
The vaginal epithelium is very delicate tissue and relies on strong blood flow, collagen for elasticity, and natural lubrication for protection and to maintain its integrity. Collagen gives the vaginal tissue its ability to contract and expand, which plays a pivotal role in the vaginas ability to perform its functions during childbearing and intercourse.
Collagen production within the body begins to decline around age 25 and this accelerates after menopause. During menopause, estrogen levels significantly decrease, thus leading to vaginal dryness, loss of elasticity, and decreased blood flow to the vaginal tissue. This is a condition known as vulvovaginal atrophy. By increasing collagen in the vagina, this can strengthen the vaginal walls, improve laxity, and increase glycogen which improves the ability of the cells to create lubrication. Collagen can also help strengthen the muscles that support the urethra, which can impact urinary incontinence.
I always tell my patients, the same way that we care for the skin on our face, we need to care for the skin in our vagina! Don’t neglect this sensitive area, maintenance is key to preventing symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy.
Dr. Shweta Desai