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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Vaginal atrophy is a condition that causes thinning, drying, and inflammation of vaginal tissue. This condition is caused by decreased levels of estrogen (a female sex hormone). Vaginal atrophy can increase your risk for vaginal and urinary tract infections. Vaginal atrophy can worsen over time if not treated.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a foul-smelling odor coming from your vagina.
- You have a thick, cheese-like discharge from your vagina.
- You have itching, swelling, or redness in your vagina.
- You have pain or burning when you urinate.
- Your urine smells bad.
- Your symptoms do not improve, or they get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Over-the counter vaginal moisturizers can help reduce dryness. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you use a vaginal moisturizer several times each week and during sex. Only use creams that are made for vaginal use. Do not use petroleum jelly. Lubricants can be used during sex to decrease pain and discomfort.
- Estrogen may help decrease dryness. It may also lower your risk of vaginal infections if you are going through menopause. It can also help to relieve urinary symptoms. Estrogen may be prescribed in the form of a cream, tablet, or ring. These medicines can be applied or inserted into the vagina. Estrogen can also be prescribed in the form of a pill.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.