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.
Currently, women spend more than one-third of their lives in the estrogen-deficient menopausal state. In 2008, there were 50 million American women 50 years or older, and this segment of the population is expected to grow to about 85 million by the year 2014.According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), an estimated 10%–40% of menopausal women will experience symptoms related to VVA.That translates into approximately 16 million women, including 500,000 new patients per year presenting with symptoms of VVA.
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.