Vaginal atrophy: Many symptoms with one easy solution
Many women suffer through ongoing issues such as vaginal itching and discharge, painful intercourse and urinary tract infections. However, they may not realize that their symptoms could indicate an easily treatable condition known as vaginal atrophy.
Once a woman and her urogynocologist can put the pieces together, treating vaginal atrophy can be a fast and painless procedure that doesn't require surgery or long recovery.
What is vaginal atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls, due to a drop in estrogen production. Unfortunately, this condition causes vaginal irritation and pain and also leads to urinary symptoms. Because the vaginal and urinary symptoms are interconnected parts of a woman’s pelvic health, a urogynecologist is the best specialist to help treat the full scope of symptoms.
Vaginal atrophy symptoms
Vaginal atrophy doesn’t limit itself to causing vaginal pain. The symptoms can be ongoing and disruptive to daily life, affecting pelvic and urinary health. Sometimes, symptoms may appear alone. But often women suffer from a combination of several vaginal issues, including:
- Urinary incontinence
- Burning with urination
- Urgency with urination
- More frequent urinary tract infections
- Genital itching
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Discomfort or pain during intercourse
- Lack of vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
- A shorter and narrower vaginal structure
Causes of vaginal atrophy
Most commonly, lowered estrogen production is the cause of vaginal atrophy. Without estrogen, the lining of the vagina can become thinner and less elastic. Additionally, the vaginal canal can become smaller – shorter and narrower. Less estrogen also means less natural lubrication, making already sensitive vaginal walls more vulnerable to irritation or injury.
A drop in estrogen levels can be caused by:
- Menopause and peri-menopause
- Postpartum hormone adjustments
- Hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries
- Medications such as aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment
- Radiation therapy
- Immune disorders
When to see a doctor
While an estimated 10 to 40 percent of postmenopausal women have symptoms of vaginal atrophy, only 20 to 25 percent of symptomatic women seek medical attention for their symptoms. Often, women believe that the symptoms just come with age and they have no treatment options, or that the issues they are experiencing are unrelated. Others are too embarrassed to bring up the topic with their doctors.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of vaginal atrophy, talk to your urogynecologist. They will be able to make a full assessment of the causes and effects of your concerns and suggest a course of treatment for vaginal and urinary symptoms.
Treating vaginal atrophy
Women suffering from vaginal atrophy can greatly benefit from diVa® laser vaginal therapy. diVa® uses laser technology to stimulate the growth of new cells on the surface of the vaginal wall and in deeper tissue layers to help strengthen the vaginal structure. The painless procedure can be performed in a doctor’s office and does not require any special preparations or recovery time. Women may need to have 3-4 treatments over the course of a few months to optimize the results.
There’s no reason to live with vaginal pain, compromised intimacy, and emotional distress when diVa® provides an easy solution. Call Coyle Institute today. Your urogynecologist can assess your current pelvic health, set up a treatment plan to heal your vaginal atrophy and help you develop a healthy routine that will improve and maintain your pelvic health.
Don’t put your life on hold to deal with the pain, irritation and emotional distress caused by vaginal atrophy. Call the caring team of feminine health experts at Coyle Institute to schedule a consultation and learn more today!