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Atrophic Vaginitis

Overview

Vagina is a part of female reproductive system which starts from cervix to the outer part of female genital part. It is an elastic organ. This  is responsible for the delivery of foetus and for coitus. It is lubricated with clear fluid vaginal discharges in the vagina from the various glands. In atrophic vaginitis, there is inflammation and shrinkage of vaginal tissue i.e it gets eroded due to lack of estrogen in post menopausal woman( there is no mensturation after the age of 45 years in female). It is also called urogenital atrophy, as to some extent the lower urinary tract is also effected.


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Causes

Estrogen hormone is responsible for growing epithelium of vagina and also its lubrication by activating the glands. This condition arises in the following:

  • Post menopausal women 
  • Before puberty 
  • Breast feeding 
    All these conditions include the lack of estrogen hormone.

Some other conditions can also lead to the vaginal atrophy. These includes:

  • Removal of ovaries(ophorectomy) 
  • Radiation therapy 
  • During lactation
  • Use of drugs like tamoxifen which are the estrogen inhibitors and inhibit the synthesis of estrogen.

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Signs & Symptoms

These includes:

  • Soreness or tenderness in vagina
     
  • Pain during the sexual intercourse(dyspareunia)
     
  • Itching
     
  • Dryness in vagina
     
  • White discharge and malodourous discharge
     
  • Burning
     
  • Post menopausal bleeding

Some symptoms also present in the urinary tract:

  • Blood in urine
     
  • Urinary incontinence and hence increased frequency of urination.
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Prevention

For post-menopausal women in particular, regular sexual activity, with or without a partner, is recommended. Sexual activity improves blood circulation in the vagina, which helps maintain the tissue.


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Treatments
Topical Medication and Drugs Homeopathy

Usually Doctors allow the use of vaginal creams which are topically appilied to the vagina for the low level of estrogen. Pills containing estrogen are given to stimulate the vaginal proliferation. Some plants contain natural forms of estrogen called phytoestrogen. The food rich in phytoestrogen like flaxseeds, red clover and soy are recommended. 
Doctors also suggest Hormone replacement therapy(HRT) to replace the hormone estrogen after menopause.
 

Lubrication of vagina before sexual intercourse by jellies.

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