Vaginal Atrophy

What is vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy, or vaginal ageing, affects around 50 percent of menopausal and post-menopausal women. Women experience this when estrogen levels decline. The walls of the vagina become thinner, dryer and the natural elasticity and blood supply is reduced.

The protective mucosa of the vagina can lose hydration and thickness causing a loss of lubrication. The changes in the natural pH balance of the internal environment have detrimental effects on the function and health of the vagina.

In addition, younger women who have used the Pill for prolonged periods, breast-feeding mothers and women who experienced traumatic delivery and severe perineal repair and scarring, may also experience these symptoms.

Around 60 per cent of breast cancer sufferers can also be affected by vaginal atrophy and unfortunately Hormone Replacement Therapy is not suitable for almost all of these patients meaning that there is no effective treatment for their symptoms.
 

What causes vaginal atrophy?

Women experience this when estrogen levels decline. The walls of the vagina become thinner, dryer and the natural elasticity and blood supply is reduced. The protective mucosa of the vagina can lose hydration and thickness causing a loss of lubrication.

 

Causes of vaginal atrophy:


 Natural menopause
 Induced menopause
 Surgical removal of both ovaries
 Suppression of ovarian function (side effect of cancer treaments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, tamoxifen)
 Premenopause
 HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
 Pill for prolonged periods
 Breast-feeding mothers
 Traumatic delivery
 Severe perineal repair
 Perineal scarring
 Stress
 Depression

Effects of vaginal atrophy:


 Thinning of the mucosa and skin
 Fragile tissue and loss of lubrication and dryness
 Reduction of natural elasticity
 Reduction of vascularization
 Atrophy of the urinary system
 Changes to the pH and internal environment

 

The symptoms of vaginal atrophy may or may not occur simultaneously and may be felt as:

 Vaginal dryness or itchiness
 Burning sensations and irritation of the vagina
 Fissuring of the opening of the vagina
 Pain during sexual intercourse (Dyspareunia)
 Vaginal pain
 Urinary urgency and incontinence
 Laxity
 Recurrent infections.

 The symptoms of vaginal atrophy can have both a physical and emotional impact on the patient, including affecting their intimate relationships.


 
 

The impact on quality of life, health and sexuality

The symptoms of vaginal atrophy can have both a physical and emotional impact on the patient, including affecting their intimate relationships.

Existing treatments involve making lifestyle changes to improve vulval care and using therapeutic creams such as a non-scented barrier cream or topical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT - vaginal oestrogen cream) if not contraindicated.

The effectiveness of these current treatments is highly dependent on the willingness of the patient to adhere to treatment protocols. In addition, the effects of existing treatments are short-term in nature and the benefits are no longer felt if the patient discontinues use.

In comparison, the Mona Lisa Touch procedure addresses a number of the issues causing vaginal atrophy, which means the effects of treatment are long lasting and will be felt independent of any actions performed by the patient.

The Mona Lisa Touch treatment is of particular benefit for patients with a past history, or strong family history of breast cancer who may have previously be advised against using HRT and until now have had no effective treatment for their symptoms of vaginal atrophy.

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Edifício Torre Santos Dumont
Phones: (85) 4105.1155 | (85)3486.1133
Avenida Santos Dumont, 2828 sala 1002 Aldeota

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Phone: 3023.5070
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