Atrophic vaginitis (also known as vaginal atrophy, vulvovaginal atrophy, or urogenital atrophy) is an inflammation of thevagina (and the outer urinary tract) due to the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, as well as decreased lubrication. These symptoms are due to a lack of the reproductive hormone estrogen.
The most common cause of vaginal atrophy is the decrease in estrogen which happens naturally during perimenopause, and increasingly so in post-menopause. However this condition can occur in other circumstances that result in decreased estrogen such as breastfeeding and the use of medications intended to decrease estrogen to, for example, treat endometriosis.
The symptoms can include vaginal soreness and itching, as well as painful intercourse, and bleeding after sexual intercourse. The shrinkage of the tissues and loss of flexibility can be extreme enough to make intercourse impossible.
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hosseinzadeh p, ghahiri a, daneshmand f, ghasemi m. a comparative study of vaginal estrogen cream and sustained-release estradiol vaginal tablet (vagifem) in the treatment of atrophic vaginitis in isfahan, iran in 2010-2012 . j res med sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2016 may 2];20:1160-5. available from: http://www.jmsjournal.net/text.asp?2015/20/12/1160/172983