Post-Menopausal Vaginal Syndrome

If you are around the age of menopause or beyond and you have painful intercourse you may have post-menopausal vaginal syndrome. Estrogen during the premenopausal years is important for walls of the vaginal and the tissues of the vulva to remain healthy. It is important for the whole urogenital tract to remain healthy, so even the urethra and the tissues near the anus can become affected when the levels of estrogen decline as women get older. With post-menopausal vaginal syndrome women may experience vaginal dryness, vaginal discharge, burning with urination, itching of the vaginal area, and itching of the area of tissue between the vagina and the rectum known as the perineum. In severe cases women will report bleeding after sex, bleeding after exercising or spot bleeding unexpectedly. If you have a pelvic exam you may be told by your gyno that you have vaginal atrophy which is a thinning and dryness of the vaginal walls. Lack of estrogen and the post-menopausal vaginal syndrome may also loosen the muscle tone of the vagina. Post-menopausal estrogen syndrome typically will not occur in perimenopause, but occurs a few years after your ovaries quit making estrogen. If a woman gets treated with estrogen to cure the post-menopausal vaginal syndrome you probably know that the treatment is working if your symptoms improve. After estrogen treatment the vaginal pH will decrease back to your premenopausal levels, and a pap test can show that the cells of the lining of the vagina are reverting to their normal state. Estrogen creams or pills or delivered in rings are the most effective treatments for this condition.And now in February 2013 the FDA has just approved a new medication for this called Osphena. So women will have a choice of medications, and no longer necessarily have to use estrogen as their only treatment.


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