May 18, 2024

Atrophic Vaginitis Treatment: Managing Post-menopausal Changes

 It happens when estrogen levels drop significantly and cause the vaginal tissues to thin, dry out and lose elasticity. While it may cause discomfort, various treatment options are available to manage the symptoms of this condition.

What is Atrophic Vaginitis?

Atrophic vaginitis is a non-infectious condition that occurs due to low levels of estrogen in a woman’s body after menopause. Estrogen is the hormone that keeps the vaginal tissues elastic, thick and lubricated. During menopause, when the ovaries stop producing estrogen, the vaginal tissues begin to thin out, dry up and lose flexibility. This can lead to a variety of genital symptoms like dryness, soreness, irritation, inflammation, burning sensation and painful intimacy. The vagina may also turn pale and shrink in size.

Symptoms of Atrophic Vaginitis
Signs that indicate the need for treatment
Some common symptoms of vaginal atrophy include:

– Dryness, soreness and irritation in the vaginal area
– Burning or stinging sensation during urination
– Pain or bleeding during sexual activities
– Vaginal itching or inflammation
– Thinning, drying and cracking of vaginal tissues
– Reduction in vaginal discharge
– pale and shrinking of vaginal area

These symptoms can affect a woman’s quality of life and may cause discomfort during daily activities. It is important to see a doctor and get the condition evaluated if any of these signs persist.

Treatment options for Vaginal Atrophy
Different therapies to manage symptoms

While there is no cure for atrophic vaginitis, various treatment methods are available to manage the symptoms effectively:

Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants
Over-the-counter water-based vaginal moisturizers Atrophic Vaginitis Treatment and lubricants can be applied as needed to keep the vaginal area soft, supple and relieve dryness. They form a protective layer and mimic the action of natural vaginal secretions.

Vaginal Estrogen Therapy
Low-dose vaginal estrogen preparations in the form of creams, tablets or rings are highly effective in treating vaginal atrophy. They help rebuild the vaginal tissues by replenishing estrogen levels locally. This is considered the most effective treatment.

Laser Therapy
Non-hormonal treatments like fractional laser therapy and narrow band light therapy utilize controlled light energy to stimulate collagen production and treat vaginal dryness. Multiple sessions may be required.

PRGF-Endoret Therapy
This innovative technique uses a woman’s own blood platelets to stimulate tissue regeneration. It promotes natural tissue repair and provides relief from genital dryness without using hormones.

Lifestyle Changes
Making lifestyle tweaks like regular exercise, pelvic floor exercises, wearing cotton underwear, staying hydrated can also help mitigate vaginal atrophy symptoms.

When to see a doctor
It is best to consult a doctor if over-the-counter moisturizers and lubricants do not help control the vaginal atrophy symptoms after a few weeks. A proper medical evaluation can determine the severity of the condition and the most suitable treatment approach. Ignoring the symptoms can make the condition worse over time. So seeking timely medical advice is important.

Managing Atrophic Vaginitis long-term
Recurring symptoms after stopping treatment
While treatment provides relief from the symptoms, vaginal atrophy is a long-term issue for menopausal women. Symptoms may recur if the treatment is discontinued. So lifelong management may be required in some cases.

Regular application of vaginal moisturizers as a maintenance therapy can help control recurring symptoms for most women. Low-dose vaginal estrogen therapies and laser therapies administered periodically also help sustain the benefits. Lifestyle changes like diet modification, stress management and pelvic floor exercises provide additional support. Checking in with the doctor every 6-12 months for evaluation and management guidance is advisable.

Vaginal atrophy does not have to disrupt quality of life after menopause. Various safe and effective treatment options exist to relieve the discomforting symptoms. With proper medical guidance and lifestyle modifications in tandem with long-term maintenance therapies, most women can manage this condition well. So seeking timely diagnosis and treatment holds the key to overcoming vaginal atrophy with minimal effort.

Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it