Atrophic vaginitis is a lack of vaginal moisture and lubrication. It is also commonly known as postmenopausal or senile vaginitis. The vagina is kept moist by the production of mucus from glands in and around it, that become more active during sexual stimulation. After the menopause the female hormone oestrogen, is no longer produced by the ovaries. This hormone stimulates the vaginal glands to produce mucus, but without oestrogen, they do not function. Blood tests can be used to measure the oestrogen level
It is usually a condition of older women who complain of a dry, sore, itchy vagina. Ulceration and bacterial infection of the vagina may occur, and there is an increased risk of vaginal prolapse.
Atrophic Vaginitis Treatment
Simple moisturising creams can be applied when the vagina is irritated, but give only temporary relief. The best solution is to replace the missing oestrogen long term by using a vaginal cream once or twice a week, oestrogen tablets daily, skin patches once or twice a week, or implants every few months. Dosages must be slowly adjusted to suit each individual woman. The results of treatment are usually very good.