Vaginal atrophy is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls that may occur due to lower estrogen levels.
For many women, vaginal atrophy not only makes intercourse painful but also leads to distressing urinary symptoms. Because the condition causes both vaginal and urinary symptoms, doctors use the term “genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)” to describe vaginal atrophy and its accompanying symptoms.
Many postmenopausal women experience GSM. But few seek treatment. Women may be embarrassed to discuss their symptoms with their doctor and may resign themselves to living with these symptoms. Simple, effective treatments for GSM are available. Reduced estrogen levels result in changes to your body, but it doesn’t mean you have to live with the discomfort of GSM.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any unexplained vaginal spotting or bleeding, unusual discharge, burning, or soreness. Also make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience painful intercourse that’s not resolved by using a vaginal moisturizer or water-based lubricant.