Atrophic Vaginitis

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Atrophic vaginitis causes redness, itching, and dryness in your vagina. It can also cause your vagina to shrink. While common - almost 75% of women get this after menopause - this condition can feel really uncomfortable. It can hurt your sex life and cause a lot of pain. 

At UVA, we have specialists in women's health who can diagnose and treat atrophic vaginitis. Because we're up on the latest medications, we can work with you to find the right solution to bring you relief.

Treating Atrophic Vaginitis

Atrophic vaginitis happens when your estrogen levels sink. After menopause, your ovaries stop making estrogen. Without this hormone, the walls of the vagina thin. The fluids that once kept your vagina healthy and lubricated lessen. 

To address these changes, you need estrogen. This safe and effective treatment can restore your vaginal health. You can get this hormone therapy in the form of a pill, cream, or suppository.

Can I Prevent it?

If you're close to menopause, the following steps can reduce your chances of getting atrophic vaginitis:

  • Stay sexually active
  • Use a vaginal lubricant
  • Drink plenty of fluids each day

You may even start hormone therapy before menopause. Ask your doctor if estrogen therapy is right for you.

Itching, Dryness: Is it Atrophic Vaginitis?

Many conditions can cause vaginal dryness, redness, and itching. You'll need to get a diagnosis to know the root of your issues. We can find out the cause by: 

  • Testing the pH balance of your vagina
  • Swabbing a small part of the vaginal wall to see if estrogen is present

Are You at Risk?

Risk factors for atrophic vaginitis or having more severe symptoms include:

  • Smoking
  • Childbirth by cesarean section
  • Never having been pregnant

 

Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.