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.
Of 10,486 women who responded, 8081 (77%) identified themselves as postmenopausal (ie, having no menstrual period for the previous 12 months for natural or surgical reasons). Among 8081 postmenopausal women, 3046 (38%) reported ≤1 symptom consistent with VVA (dyspareunia, vaginal dryness, local irritation, tenderness, bleeding with sexual activity, or pain with exercise).
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.