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Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal Atrophy, also known as atrophic vaginitis, is the process where the walls of the vagina get drier and thinner over time.

What causes Vaginal Atrophy?

During the process of menopause, the female body gradually produces lesser estrogen. As a result, the walls of the vagina become thinner and less flexible, while the vaginal canal becomes narrower and shorter. With lower levels of estrogen, the female body is unable to produce the same volume of vaginal fluids as compared to before. This can also affect the acid balance of the vagina.

The telltale sign of Vaginal Atrophy is typically a decrease in vaginal lubrication. A woman’s estrogen levels can dip by about 85% during menopause – which thus affects the volume of vaginal fluids produced.

Menopause is the most common reason for Vaginal Atrophy, but estrogen levels can also be affected because of:

  • Breastfeeding

  • Certain birth control pills

  • Removal of both ovaries

  • Chemotherapy

  • Pelvic radiation therapy

  • Hormone treatments

Many women with Vaginal Atrophy experience a more painful sexual intercourse which could also lead to distressing urinary symptoms. As muscles weaken with age, combined with hormonal changes together with weight gain, it could lead to pelvic floor muscles becoming significantly weaker. This could lead to other issues such as the loss of pelvic functions, specifically bladder control. Because the condition carries both vaginal and urinary symptoms, doctors use the term "genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)" to describe this condition and its accompanying symptoms.

The following are symptoms of GSM:

  • Going to the bathroom often

  • Having pain when going to the bathroom

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

  • Urinating more frequently

  • Stress incontinence

  • Painful urination (dysuria)

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)

  • Burning sensation during urination

Book a consultation with us to find out more about your condition.
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