What is it? How common is it?
Vaginal atrophy, or vaginal ageing, affects up to 50% of peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women. A woman’s natural decline in oestrogen levels during menopause or sudden decline following surgery and some medical treatments, significantly affect the vaginal structure and function.
The walls of the vagina become thinner and the natural elasticity and blood supply is reduced. The protective mucosa of the vagina can lose hydration and thickness, causing loss of lubrication. The changes in the natural acid balance (pH) of the internal environment have detrimental effects on the function and health of the vagina.
What’s to know about vaginal atrophy?
The symptoms can have a negative impact on your general wellbeing, causing lifestyle alterations and in many cases placing stress on intimate relationships. Research has indicated that almost half of all women will suffer from the effects of vaginal atrophy in their lifetime, yet only 25% will seek medical help.
The following list summarises many of the most common physical symptoms of vaginal atrophy
- Vaginal dryness, itching and burning. Thinning of the walls, loss of hydration and changes to the pH and internal environment can result in feelings of dryness and itching.
- Dyspareunia – pain during sexual intercourse. The thinning of the mucosa and skin creates fragile tissue and loss of lubrication and the subsequent dryness can contribute to pain during sexual intercourse.
- Vaginal laxity, loss of elasticity or tone.
- Recurrent infections.
- Urinary urgency and incontinence.
There are solutions
The good news is that there are treatments for vaginal atrophy and most women can find a solution that works for them
- Drug treatments – the most common treatment is ongoing application of hormone based (oestrogen) ie: creams directly in the vagina. These work well for some women however others are not able to use these creams due to past medical history or they become uncomfortable with the process and discontinue use.
- THERMIva (vaginal regeneration) is a temperature-controlled radio frequency device that treats the vulvovaginal region restoring moisture and elasticity to the vaginal canal, improving mild/moderate stress urinary incontinence (SUI), reduction in overactive bladder symptoms and helping to improve sexual function. THERMIva safely and effectively treats both the internal and external vulvovaginal areas including the labia majora and labia minora, as well as the nerve bundle and glans. THERMIva offers an alternative for female rejuvenation that is non-surgical, non-invasive and pain free. There is no downtime and no anaesthetics are required. This treatment is available with Melissa at Fremantle, Bunbury and Geraldton locations. For more details please click here more info
- MonaLisa Touch (TM) (vaginal regeneration)this uses fractionated CO2 laser to stimulate the bodies own regenerative process, creating more hydrated healthy cells and improving the circulation and nutrient supply to the vaginal mucosa. This treatment is available at various clinics in Perth, google for more information.
What to expect when you have an appointment with Melissa
Due to the potential causes of vaginal atrophy, expect to be asked multiple questions. You may be required to arrange tests to determine the causes of the problem.
Get In Touch
PO Box 959. South Fremantle. WA. 6162.
Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm