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Vaginal Atrophy

AMBULATORY CARE:

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.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Vaginal dryness, itching, and burning
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Light bleeding after sex
  • Burning during urination
  • Frequent, sudden, strong urges to urinate
  • Urinary incontinence (loss of control of your bladder)

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.

Treatment:

  • 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Vaginal Atrophy (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Mayo Clinic Reference

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