10 Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy

10 Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal atrophy is something many women have but just as many may not feel comfortable talking about. When problems in the vulvar region spring up, plenty of patients suffer in silence rather than ask for help with urinary issues or pain during sex. 

At the OB/GYN practice of Gae Rodke, MD, FACOG, on the Upper West Side of New York City, Dr. Rodke is committed to destigmatizing women’s health and restoring function and pleasure. She treats vaginal atrophy using the MonaLisa Touch® system.

Vaginal atrophy 101

Vaginal atrophy, also known as atrophic vaginitis, can happen to both menopausal and postmenopausal women, as dwindling estrogen leads to a drying and thinning of the inner lining of the vaginal wall. Around 50% of women can expect to suffer from vaginal atrophy to some extent as they age and estrogen production diminishes.

10 symptoms of vaginal atrophy

Vaginal atrophy is often referred to by medical practitioners as the genitourinary syndrome of menopause, as it can affect both the vagina and the urinary tract. Common symptoms include:

  1. Vaginal dryness, including during sexual activity
  2. Vaginal burning 
  3. Vaginal discharge
  4. Genital itching
  5. Frequent or urgent urination, or urinary incontinence
  6. Burning with urination
  7. Recurrent urinary tract infections
  8. Pain during intercourse
  9. Blood spotting after intercourse
  10. Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

You may experience one, two, or any combination of these symptoms.

What to do about vaginal atrophy

Dr. Rodke completes a thorough examination and discusses all your options with you before recommending treatment. For some women, hormone replacement therapy is the simplest and best option to treat not only genitourinary symptoms but also improve other health issues like sleeplessness, excessive sweating, and mood swings.

For others, a more direct approach may be required. In many cases, vaginal atrophy can be treated effectively with the MonaLisa Touch system. This system uses gentle laser energy emitted through a small transvaginal probe to restore blood flow and improve laxity in your vaginal tissue.  

This process only takes about five minutes. Dr. Rodke makes sure you’re comfortable, and then talks you through the steps as she applies appropriate lubrication and inserts the probe. She turns on the system and allows the gentle laser energy to work for the set time period, then lets you clean up before you leave.

The MonaLisa Touch stimulates the vaginal tissues to improve pelvic blood circulation and help your body make its own lubrication for more comfortable and enjoyable sexual experiences.  Studies show it can also help with mild urinary issues, such as stress incontinence, and you’ll likely notice a reduction in any other symptoms such as itchiness or burning. 

Most women plan their treatment for a break in their day, and go right back to what they were doing. After your treatment, you may feel like your vaginal tissue is slightly swollen; this is normal and due to increased blood flow. You may want to schedule several treatments to reach optimal results.

Are you tired of the symptoms of vaginal atrophy? Learn more about treatment by booking an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Gae Rodke, MD, FACOG, today.

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