Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal Atrophy Specialist
Vaginal atrophy is a common issue for women in menopause and other women with low levels of estrogen. Dr. Bickman offers her Santa Monica, CA, patients the most effective treatment options including the Mona Lisa Touch vaginal laser system, FDA approved to treat symptoms associated with vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal Atrophy Q & A

Tristan E. Bickman, MD

What is vaginal atrophy?

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.

What symptoms are associated with vaginal atrophy?

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 dryness

  • 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

Does vaginal atrophy only occur during menopause?

No, it can occur during breastfeeding or anytime you have lower than normal levels of estrogen.

How is vaginal atrophy treated?

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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