Atrophic vaginitis (also known as vaginal atrophy or urogenital atrophy) is an inflammation of the vagina (and the outer urinary tract) due to the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, as well as decreased lubrication. These symptoms are due to a lack of the reproductive hormone estrogen.Many women notice changes in their vagina and genital area after the menopause. These changes may include dryness and discomfort during sex.
Vulvar vestibular syndrome (VVS) is also known as vestibulitis, vestibulodynia, vestibular pain syndrome and localised vulval dysaesthesia. Among 210 women attending a US gynaecological practice, 15% fulfilled the criteria for VVS, and 38% had some clinical features.In a community-based survey, 12% of 303 women reported a history of knife-like or excessive pain on contact to the genital area that would be consistent with the syndrome. VVS was diagnosed in 30% of 159 consecutive clients seen in 1997–1998 (unpublished data).
Estrogen replacement restores normal pH levels and thickens and revascularizes the epithelium.Moisturizers and lubricants may be used in conjunction with estrogen replacement therapy or as alternative treatments. It has been shown to encourage vaginal elasticity and pliability, and the lubricative response to sexual stimulation.Vaginal atrophy need not be an inevitable consequence of menopause or other events that result in long-term estrogen loss.