Atrophic Vaginitis

What is Atrophic Vaginitis?

Atrophic vaginitis, or vaginal atrophy, is a condition that affects women who are in menopause or who have had their ovaries surgically removed. It occurs when your vagina becomes thinner, drier and inflamed due to a decrease in estrogen levels in your body. Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include: burning, itching, dryness, light bleeding after intercourse, painful intercourse and a desire to urinate frequently.

What Causes Atrophic Vaginitis?

Atrophic vaginitis is usually caused by a decrease in estrogen levels. This can occur naturally during menopause when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. It can also occur if the ovaries have been surgically removed. Other causes may include long-term use of certain medications, including some chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.

What are the risk factors for Atrophic Vaginitis?

Risk factors for atrophic vaginitis include: Age (women over the age of 40 are more likely to experience it); Menopause (due to the drop in estrogen levels); History of ovarian surgery (which results in a sudden drop in estrogen levels); Smoking cigarettes (which causes a decrease in estrogen levels); History of certain medications or treatments (like certain chemotherapy and radiation treatments).

What are the Symptoms of Atrophic Vaginitis?

  • Burning or itching sensation in or around the vagina
  • Dryness of the vagina
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • A desire to urinate frequently

How is Atrophic Vaginitis Treated?

There are a number of treatments for atrophic vaginitis, including: vaginal moisturizers and lubricants, vaginal estrogen creams, pills, and rings, and systemic hormone therapy. Your physician can help you to decide which treatment is best for you based on your overall health and specific symptoms.