Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Atrophy (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
In this Article
- What causes vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy?
- What symptoms can be associated with vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy?
- How is vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy diagnosed?
- What treatments are available for vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy?
- What is the outlook for vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy?
- Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Atrophy At A Glance
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What is the outlook for vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy?
Vaginal dryness/vaginal atrophy is a common complaint in postmenopausal women. While it does not produce serious consequences, it is a source of significant discomfort for many women. Hormone treatments are available that are very effective in reducing vaginal dryness, but whether or not to use hormone therapy is an individual decision that must consider the inherent risks and benefits of the treatment along with each woman's own medical history. Women with only mild symptoms may experience relief by using vaginal moisturizing agents and/or lubricants during sexual intercourse.
Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Atrophy At A Glance
- Vaginal atrophy is the medical term that refers to the thinning of the wall
of the vagina that occurs during the menopause (the time when menstrual periods
have ceased) in women.
- Vaginal atrophy occurs due to falling estrogen levels.
- Vaginal atrophy may be associated with vaginal dryness, itching,
irritation, and/or pain during sexual intercourse.
- Hormone therapy can be effective in treating vaginal atrophy and other
menopausal symptoms, but hormone therapy carries its own risks.
- Local vaginal hormone creams or vaginal lubricants are alternatives to systemic hormone therapy.
Rossouw JE; Anderson GL; Prentice RL et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JA
Utian WH; Archer DF; Bachmann GA, et al. Estrogen and progestogen use in postmenopausal women: July 2008 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2008 Jul-Aug;15(4 Pt 1):584-602.
Last Editorial Review: 3/17/2010 2:40:21 PM
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