If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, irritation, or frequent infections, these may be the result of vaginal atrophy, which is often associated with menopause. Dr. Jennifer Tomas and Dr. Susan O’Toole in Collingwood, Ontario can help. Call Collingwood Vitality Laser Clinic to schedule an appointment online for a full gynecological evaluation and exploration of treatment options.
Vaginal Atrophy Q & A
What is vaginal atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy is the natural thinning of your vaginal walls, usually after menopause, due to estrogen deficiency. It’s more formally referred to as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) because the condition often presents alongside urinary issues. After menopause, the vaginal tissue becomes thinner and loses its previous elasticity and lubrication.
What are the symptoms of vaginal atrophy?
You may face many challenges when living with vaginal atrophy, from everyday discomfort to pain when you’d hope to feel pleasure.
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) symptoms may include:
Vaginal irritation and dryness
Vaginal itching, infections, or narrowing
Painful sexual intercourse with minor vaginal bleeding
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Urinary tract infections, incontinence, burning, or urgency
What causes vaginal atrophy?
Though decreased estrogen levels primarily cause vaginal atrophy during or after menopause, several factors can lead to an earlier onset or more severe symptoms.
Smoking exacerbates GSM because it stunts estrogen production and leads to poor circulation of oxygen in your bloodstream. Symptoms can also be more severe if you’ve had an early or sudden drop in your estrogen levels, such as after surgical removal of your ovaries or with chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
How is vaginal atrophy diagnosed?
Vaginal atrophy is generally diagnosed based on typical symptoms women experience and a thorough pelvic exam. Dr. O’Toole and Dr. Tomas can provide a complete assessment to determine if you are experiencing vaginal atrophy.
What are treatment options for vaginal atrophy?
There are many options for treating genitourinary syndrome of menopause:
Moisturizers and lubricants
Vaginal estrogen therapy (creams and tablets)
Vaginal laser therapy
Dr. Tomas and Dr. O’Toole will discuss all treatment options available to determine an individualized treatment plan for you. You may also want to consider vaginal laser therapy.
If you’re suffering from the symptoms of vaginal atrophy, don’t wait: Get a personalized consultation to see which treatment option is best for you. Call today to schedule an appointment.