Vaginal Atrophy Specialist
Are you having dryness, burning sensation, and itching in your vagina? Do you frequently deal with UTI or Stress incontinence? If yes, then you might be needing a vaginal atrophy specialist at your service. For further information and guidance, contact us or book an appointment online. You can also visit our clinics in Arcadia, CA, and Glendale, CA.
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Vaginal health impacts many aspects of your life, including sexual pleasure and wellness, urinary system health, and other aspects. So, when you experience a condition like vaginal atrophy, it can have several effects on your body and quality of life. Learn more about vaginal atrophy and what you can do about it below.
Vaginal atrophy is a condition where the lining of the vaginal walls gets thinner and drier. The vaginal walls form the canal that extends from the vaginal opening in the vulva to the neck of the uterus, called the cervix. Menstrual blood exits the body through this canal, as do babies when they are born vaginally.
The thinning and drying out of the vaginal wall lining often results in symptoms like burning, itching, and pain during sex, in addition to several other symptoms. This condition is also known as atrophic vaginitis and, more recently, genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). This more recent name is due to its common occurrence with menopause and encompasses the urinary symptoms that also occur with vaginal atrophy. Approximately half of all individuals who enter menopause experience some form of GSM, or vaginal atrophy.
As mentioned, the symptoms of vaginal atrophy affect both the vagina and the urinary system. Some of these symptoms are:
● Vaginal dryness
● Burning and itching sensations within the vagina
● Pain during sex, also called dyspareunia
● Yellowish vaginal discharge
● Bleeding or spotting
● Itching of the vulva
● A sensation of pressure within the vagina
● Frequent need to urinate
● Pain with urination; also called dysuria
● Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
● Increased urination
● Stress incontinence
● Blood in the urine, or hematuria
● Burning sensations while urinating
While vaginal atrophy often occurs with menopause, menopause is not the root cause of this condition. Rather, the root cause is decreased estrogen production. Estrogen is a sex hormone that helps maintain the elasticity, lubrication, and thickness of your vaginal walls. Your body naturally produces less estrogen during menopause, which is the reason for the association between menopause and vaginal atrophy. However, decreased estrogen production can happen earlier in life, as well, due to several causes. Here are some conditions that can contribute to decreased estrogen production:
● Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding
● Eating disorders
● Hormonal disorders
● Excessive exercising or extreme dieting
● Pituitary gland issues
● Ovarian cysts
● Substance use disorder
● Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
● Autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren’s syndrome
● Genetic conditions, including Fragile X syndrome or Turner’s syndrome
You should especially see a doctor for vaginal atrophy if you’re experiencing symptoms that negatively impact your life or are noticing them before going through menopause, such as dryness, pain during sex, urinary issues, burning, itching, or abnormal spotting. Report these symptoms to your doctor and make sure you let them know if initial treatment interventions fail to improve symptoms.
When seeing your doctor for vaginal atrophy, here are some questions to ask:
● What kind of over-the-counter (OTC) medications do you recommend for my specific symptoms?
● Do I need prescription medication, and what ones do you recommend?
● Will my condition be temporary or permanent?
● What treatment options do I have for vaginal atrophy?
● What risks does each treatment option have?
● When should I expect treatment to start working?
● Is there another condition causing my vaginal atrophy?
● Do you recommend any home remedies for improving vaginal atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy can cause many unpleasant symptoms, so it’s worthwhile to talk to a specialist for improving them. Our ob-gyns at The OB-GYN and Incontinence Center can evaluate your symptoms and provide effective treatment options to you. For further information, and guidance contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you. We serve patients from Arcadia CA, Glendale CA, Monrovia CA, Pasadena CA, Los Angeles CA, Burbank CA, and surrounding areas.