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The ExtraCellular Matrix (of Your Vagina)

This is not the fifth installment of the Matrix series, but in some senses the Extracellular Matrix is truly fundamental to our existence.

The Extracellular Matrix is the vital fluid around our cells in each of our tissues.

This matrix constantly changes, remodels, activates, degrades and repairs it’s components. In many tissues it’s responsible for laying down collagen and elastin.

The matrix has to have balance between synthesis and degradation by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are further controlled by activators and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (which is why we all use our Alastin products, more of that in another post!)

Remodeling of the matrix, both the activation and the destruction to make way for the new are regulated growth factors.

Growth factors have to work through integrins are transmembrane receptors that facilitate cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion, and regulate the cells to perform their functions. In the vagina the cells that have heathy are fibroblasts.

Vaginal treatments that repair and rejuvenate the tissue have to work through the matrix! So as the buzz for the newest movie comes out you can enjoy it, but we will give each other a wink and understand!


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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