Vaginal atrophy is a condition that causes the vaginal walls to become dry, thin and inflamed. It occurs as a result of a decline in your natural levels of estrogen. Women with vaginal atrophy may experience painful intercourse and an increase in vaginal or urinary tract infections as well as other issues.
Mild vaginal atrophy may cause few or no symptoms, but moderate to significant atrophy is typically associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
vaginal itching, burning or discharge
burning sensation when urinating
increased urge to urinate
an increase in urinary tract infections
decreased vaginal lubrication during intercourse
light bleeding or spotting following intercourse
tightening of the vaginal canal
discomfort during or following intercourse
No, it can occur during breastfeeding or anytime you have lower than normal levels of estrogen.
Before initiating treatment, Dr. Bickman will perform a pelvic exam and may also order a urine test or a vaginal acidity test, a simple test that measures the level of acid in your vaginal fluid. Based on the results of her exam, she may suggest several treatment options including:
vaginal moisturizers, applied every two to three days to replenish some of the moisture in your vaginal area
water-based lubricants used during sex to reduce the discomfort of intercourse (choose products without glycerin to avoid potential allergic reactions)
topical estrogen ointments or creams that help restore some of the estrogen lost during menopause or due to other causes
estrogen pills to elevate your estrogen levels systemically
Tell your doctor if you've had breast cancer before trying any estrogen products since there is a chance these may increase your risk for recurrence.
*Individual Results May Vary
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