Vaginal Dryness - Causes

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If known, what was the cause of your vaginal dryness or atrophy?

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What causes vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy is the medical term that refers to the thinning of the wall of the vagina that occurs during menopause (the time when menstrual periods have ceased) in women. Prior to menopause, the vaginal lining appears plump, bright red, and moist. As estrogen levels decline, the lining of the vagina becomes thinner, drier, light pink to bluish in color, and less elastic. This is a normal change that is noticed by many perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Estrogen levels begin to fall as the menopause approaches. Estrogens are mainly produced by the ovaries. Estrogens control the development of female body characteristics such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. Estrogens also play a significant role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can occur earlier or later in life. The menopause average age is 51 years old. Every woman is different, and there is no definitive way to predict when an individual woman will enter menopause. Also, women in the menopausal transition experience symptoms with varying degrees of severity. Not all perimenopausal and postmenopausal women will have the same symptoms or experience the same levels of severity.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: fellow past sufferer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

My thin vagina (after menopause induced by total hysterectomy for multiple recurrent fibroids) was related to urethral irritation symptoms mimicking urinary tract infection (but no bacteria or other signs of infection). I suffered for months with interrupted sleep; had to drink and urinate often to temporarily relieve the irritation feeling, I was advised by my then urologist to keep drinking water until my urine was as clear as water! I eventually found an understanding urologist who advised I was drinking too much (4 liters a day) and felt my symptoms were from menopause. He prescribed a vaginal estrogen cream and after a month of alternate daily use (0.5 mg cream) my symptoms were resolved. Six months later, I now use the cream once a week and my sex drive (and life) has also improved. Menopause is a terrible thing to experience!

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Comment from: Belinda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 27

I am 47 years old. I suffered urinary infections, bladder pressure and pain in the urethra, then horrific burning in the vagina and vulva area. I was treated for thrush but had no discharge. Finally gynecologist discovered on first examination vaginal atrophy caused by low estrogen due to my age. I was treated with estrogen pessaries, Dermol moisturizer and emollient.

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