What Is Atrophic Vaginitis: Symptoms and Management

Females suffer from many health issues related to intimate part but keeps on suffering in silence due to lack of knowledge about female health issues. In our article today, we will discuss about atrophic vaginitis, its symptoms and management. What Is Atrophic Vaginitis: Symptoms and Management

What Is Atrophic Vaginitis?

Atrophic vaginitis is defined as a condition where the vaginal lining gets thin and dry. In other words, it may be defined as wasting away of the vaginal lining. This results in burning, itching and painful sex. In addition, it results in urinary tract infections and other problems related to urinary tract. What Is Atrophic Vaginitis?

Vaginal atrophy usually happens during menopause due to the decrease of the hormone estrogen. Let us learn more about the health issues that affects most of female during the change of their life.

What Causes Atrophic Vaginitis?

Vaginal atrophy is caused due to the decline in the level of hormone oestrogen in females during menopause. The lack of oestrogen causes the vaginal tissue to dry out and thin and the vaginal tissue becomes more fragile, less elastic and is easily injured. Besides menopause, other reasons that leads to decline in the hormone oestrogen includes breastfeeding, surgical removal of ovaries, cancer treatment, pelvic radiation therapy or after hormonal therapy given for the treatment of breast cancer.

What Are The Risk Factors That Increases The Chances Of Atrophic Vaginitis?

Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis is very common. Females usually reach menopause between the ages of 45 to 55. It is the stage where ovaries no longer release egg and menstrual period stops. Research says that up to 40% of female of postmenopausal age suffers from atrophic vaginitis.

Females who have never given vaginal birth has more chances of suffering from vaginal atrophy in comparison to females who have delivered their babies vaginally. In addition, smoking disrupts the blood circulation and deprives the vaginal tissues of oxygen increasing the risk of atrophic vaginitis.

What are The Symptoms Of Atrophic Vaginitis?

The symptoms of vaginal atrophy include, tightening and shortening of vaginal canal, lack of vaginal moisture, inflammation and burning pain and discomfort during intercourse, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infection. The symptoms of urinary tract infection include burning or pain with urination and frequent urination. What are The Symptoms Of Atrophic Vaginitis?

Although vaginal atrophy is common, around 20 to 25% of symptomatic females never seek for medical attention due to embarrassment and lack of knowledge regarding the disease. Some females experience the symptoms of vaginal atrophy during perimenopause stage. In other females, symptom may not appear until years later or may never appear.

What Are The Potential Complications Of Atrophic Vaginitis?

Vaginal atrophy increases the chances of a female to contract vaginal infections as it lead to changes in the acidic environment of female vagina. This makes it easier for the yeast, bacteria and other microorganisms to thrive and multiply. In addition, it increases the risk of urinary system atrophy leading to symptoms such as frequent urination and burning sensation during urination. Some females also experience urinary incontinence.

How Is Atrophic Vaginitis Diagnosed?

If you experience pain during intercourse, better visit your doctor. Also, see your doctor if you experience unusual symptoms such as discharge, soreness, burning or vaginal bleeding. Your doctor may ask you some questions regarding your health history to know if you ever had cancer and how long you stopped menstruating. If you are using any over-the-counter products such as perfumes, deodorants, lubricants, spermicides, or soaps ley your doctor know. After taking history, pelvic examination and examination of external genitals is done to look for the signs of atrophy such as loss of elasticity, sparse pubic hair, smooth or plain vaginal lining, prolapse of pelvic organ or stretching of the uterine support tissues. In addition, the doctor may ask you to get following test done such as pelvic examination, vaginal smear test, vaginal acidity test, urine test and blood test. How Is Atrophic Vaginitis Diagnosed?

What Is The Treatment Of Atrophic Vaginitis?

To improve the vaginal health and your quality of living, treatment of vaginal atrophy is done that focuses on relieving symptoms or treating the underlying cause. Water-based lubricants or over-the-counter moisturizers help in treating dryness. In some cases, oestrogen replacement therapy is suggested to improve the natural moisture and vaginal elasticity. What Is The Treatment Of Atrophic Vaginitis?

Certain life style changes also helps in alleviating the symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. Make sure to wear loose fitting clothing and cotton underwear to improve the air circulation around the genitals. Healthy sexual activity too improve the blood circulation. In addition, make sure to eat foods that contain plant oestrogen such as flaxseed soya bean and soya products and drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.