+ vaginal atrophy
Vaginal discomfort due to loss of estrogen
is common during menopause.
Unfortunately, many women don’t know
it’s related to menopause and they assume
it’s something they have to live with.
Vulvar and vaginal atrophy is a thinning of the vaginal walls that occurs as estrogen levels drop during menopause. Along with other vaginal changes, such as dryness, itching and burning in and around the vagina, intercourse can become painful for some women.
There are various treatments for VVA symptoms. However, a recent study shows more than half of postmenopausal women surveyed agreed it is still taboo in society to acknowledge they are experiencing vaginal dryness or painful intercourse.
Really? Ladies, let’s chat it up. You’re too important to let this interfere with your life!
For many women going through menopause, the loss of estrogen can result in less vaginal lubrication; thinner, drier vaginal walls and less elastic vaginal tissue. This can cause some very uncomfortable physical symptoms, including:
- Painful intercourse
- Dryness in and around the vagina
- Burning in and around the vagina
- Itching in and around the vagina
To find out if and how certain menopausal symptoms may be affecting you, complete the Symptom Assessment Tool. Print the results and take them with you to your next appointment to help ease the conversation with your health care provider.
Your health care provider may perform a pelvic exam to help determine if you have VVA. Of course, sharing your symptoms and explaining how they are impacting your life can give your health care provider important insight toward a proper diagnosis.
There is no need to be embarrassed speaking about your symptoms. Be encouraged to learn about your vaginal health.
To help you feel more comfortable bringing up the topic and getting the answers you need, print the following
Discussion Guide and take it to your next health care visit.
This is not a formal diagnostic tool. It is meant to help you have a more meaningful discussion with your health care provider.
No information about you will be collected or stored.
Here are a few of the most common ways to deal with vaginal dryness and painful intercourse caused by menopause:
You may have already tried some of these vaginal gels and liquids. They can be purchased without a prescription, and are used prior to sex to offer temporary relief of vaginal dryness. They are designed to ease symptoms rather than treat the root cause of the pain.
Prescription Estrogen Treatments
These are medical options, which include hormone therapy and require a prescription from your health care provider.
Prescription treatments can help replenish estrogen to the vagina, helping rebuild the tissue that creates vaginal lubrication. Like all medicines, hormone therapy has risks and benefits, and is not right for everyone. They come in several different forms:
- Prescription estrogen creams are inserted directly into the vagina, usually with an applicator, to target the cause of dryness and painful intercourse. Your health care provider can recommend the lowest dose possible, based on your individual needs.
- Prescription estrogen vaginal tablets are placed in your vagina with a disposable applicator. Your health care provider will let you know how often to insert the tablet.
Prescription estrogen vaginal rings are inserted into the upper part of the vagina by you or your health care provider.
The soft, flexible ring releases a consistent dose of estrogen while in place.
- Prescription oral and transdermal estrogen treatments are an option when vaginal dryness is accompanied by other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
To learn more about a prescription treatment option from Pfizer click here.