Atrophic vaginitis or vulvovaginal atrophy is vaginal disorders that occured due to the declining level of estrogen level as you reach menopause. As many as 50% of women develop this conditions leading to dryness and irritation over the vaginal area, decrease vaginal fluid secretions causing painful sexual intercourse and sometimes frequent and painful urination. Estrogen is important to support the health of the tissue in the vagina and urinary tract. During the perimenopause and menopausal state, the low level of estrogen cause loss of collagen which act as a supportive structures for of the tissue. This in turn cause the tissue to appear pale, thin, weak and often ulcerated easily.
Not only that, estrogen is important to maintain a healthy pH level in the vagina area. Our vagina area has a slighly acidic pH due to presence of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus sp which curb from colonisation of bad bacteria. However, with decline of estrogen, there is loss of good bacteria leading to infection by bad organism such as candida, vaginosis and urine infection.
Atrophic vaginitis can be treated with use of topical estrogen and vaginal moisturizer. Use of estrogen locally to the vaginal tissue not only improve the health of the vaginal walls but it also reduces the vaginal pH and improve good bacteria colonisation and ease the urinary symptoms. Vaginal moisturizer like Hyal gel contains Hyaluronic acid not only plump back the cells but it gives back the hydration to the tissue and assist in tissue healing and repair.
Other measures such as regular Kegel’s exercise can also help strengthen pelvic floor muscles and improve urinary incontinence. Patients are also advised to avoid use of harsh soap, perfumes, scented pads and tampons and tight trousers. Use of lubricants prior to sexual encounters can also help to reduce the discomfort with sexual activity.
Managing physical changes during menopause can be challenging but it should not stop you from enjoying this new exciting transition in your life. If your menopause symptoms bothering you, talk to our doctor today on the treatments available to help you conquer your life back.