While vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) can happen to any woman at any age, the most common timeframe development is during or after menopause. Vaginal atrophy is primarily caused by a decrease in estrogen, which causes thinning and drying out of the vaginal walls.
A Silent Epidemic
Vaginal atrophy is actually a very common issue, but it is often ignored and undiagnosed. Why? Most women are too afraid or embarrassed to talk to their doctor about it.
Vaginal dryness and atrophy is a silent epidemic that affects many women who are undoubtedly suffering in silence. This chronic and progressive medical condition has been estimated to affect up to 50%-60% of postmenopausal women; some healthcare providers believe this estimate is lower than the actual incidence.
If you’re dealing with vaginal atrophy, understand that you’re not alone and that it isn’t a condition you have to “learn to live with.” There are many different treatment options available, from OTC moisturizers to estrogen therapy.
How Do I Know If I Have Vaginal Atrophy?
If you’re in perimenopause, menopause, post-menopause or currently breastfeeding, your body may experience a dip in estrogen leading to vaginal atrophy. Common symptoms include:
- Vaginal dryness or itching
- Vaginal burning or inflammation
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Vaginal discharge
- Urinary incontinence
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
You do not have to live with these symptoms indefinitely. Talk with an experienced gynecologist if you think you might be experiencing vaginal atrophy.
At All About Women, we want you to feel comfortable talking through any women’s issues that you’re struggling with so we can help you find healthy solutions. Call our Gainesville or Lake City office today to schedule an appointment.