Vulvovaginal Issues & Vaginal Atrophy

older woman gardening

Questions and Answers


What are Vulvovaginal Issues and Vaginal Atrophy?

Your external genitalia, known as the vulva, includes the outer lips (labia majora), inner lips (labia minora), and the clitoris. Vulvovaginal issues refer to problems that arise in any of the vulvar tissues, inside the vagina or both. 

A variety of factors can contribute to vulvovaginal issues. Reduced levels of estrogen associated with menopause and aging can cause multiple vulvovaginal symptoms, including vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy involves the weakening of the vaginal muscles and loss of lubrication causing vaginal dryness. Injury, infection, skin conditions, and other concerns can also lead to vulvovaginal issues.


anatomy drawing of healthy vagina vs. vaginal atrophy


What are the Symptoms of Vulvovaginal Issues?

Vulvovaginal symptoms associated with menopause include vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, difficulty achieving orgasm, and urinary incontinence. Other conditions can also cause these symptoms.

Additional vulvovaginal symptoms include:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal odor
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Genital pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bleeding during or after intercourse

 Skin conditions, such as lichen planus, lichen sclerosis, or eczema, can cause visible white patches, cracking, or crusting.


What is the Treatment for Vulvovaginal Issues and Vaginal Atrophy?

Treatment depends on the cause of your symptoms and other individual factors. Dr. Brown & Dr. Moore have expertise treating a broad range of vulvovaginal conditions. To address vaginal atrophy and other symptoms of menopause, he may recommend:

  • Hormone Therapy: Hormone pellet therapy, oral hormones, and topical estrogen creams can replenish estrogen loss due to menopause. Estrogen helps restore lubrication and enhance sexual response.
  • Estrogen Vaginal Therapy: The Urogynecology Associates team can also prescribe vaginal estrogen to help with the health of the vagina and bladder as well as restore lubrication.

Vulvovaginal issues caused by an infection or skin condition typically require oral or topical medication to resolve.

To improve vulvovaginal symptoms and vaginal atrophy, don’t hesitate to schedule a confidential consultation.

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