Urogynecologists located in Madison, MS & Flowood, MS
The physicians and staff at Southeast Urogyn provide innovative treatments to help women from in and around Jackson, Mississippi who suffer from vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal Atrophy Q & A
What Is Vagina Atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy, also referred to as atrophic vaginitis, is a condition where the vaginal walls become thin, dry, and inflamed due to decreased estrogen levels. It is a common side effect of menopause, but also occurs after some breast cancer treatments and during breast feeding. Vaginal atrophy can make intercourse painful and can cause troublesome urinary issues and symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of vaginal atrophy include:
Vaginal dryness and burning
Urgent or burning urination
Light bleeding after intercourse
Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal
What Causes Vaginal Atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy is caused by a decrease in estrogen production. Less estrogen causes your vaginal tissues to become less elastic, thinner, drier, and fragile. Estrogen levels normally fluctuate, but many women experience a distinct drop following menopause, during the time preceding menopause, after surgery to remove the ovaries, following radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, or following hormonal treatment for breast cancer. Some of the risk factors that can increase your risk of developing vaginal atrophy include smoking, a lack of sexual activity, or not giving birth vaginally.
How Is Vaginal Atrophy Treated?
The doctors at Southeast Urogyn tailor their treatment to address the specific needs of each individual patient. Some patients may benefit from simply using a vaginal moisturizer to restore some moisture to the vagina. Others may benefit from using a water-based lubricant to ease discomfort during intercourse. However, if these treatments are not sufficient to relieve the symptoms, the doctors may suggest topical and intra-vaginal estrogen therapy. This may include a vaginal estrogen cream or pill which is inserted into the vagina. The doctor will prescribe the dosage and how often it needs to be applied. A vaginal estrogen ring can also be used and will release a steady dose of estrogen for approximately 3 months before it needs to be replaced. If the vaginal atrophy presents with other symptoms of menopause, the doctor may suggest systemic estrogen therapy such as pills, patches, gels, or a higher dose of estrogen ring More recently, CO2 laser treatments, such as the MonaLisa Touch and Core2Intima, have been very successfully, used to stimulate collagen production within the vagina. Laser therapy is especially important for cancer patients in whom estrogen treatment may not be an option.
For more information about Vaginal Atrophy, we recommend reading the infographic: The Painful Truth about Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy (VVA) in Postmenopausal Women
Southeast Urogyn provides expert care, and wants every patient to be able to afford the checkups they need. If you have any questions about the insurance we accept, please call or office to see how we can best help you.
Words from our patients
"Southeast Urogyn is the BEST facility in Mississippi to go for any of your needs regarding menopause and Urogynecology."
"I met with Dr. Harris for the first time in August of 2015, and was immediately impressed. Please don't hesitate to make an appointment. You'll be glad you did."
"I felt no embarrassment from the initial physician's exam, the urodynamics testing by the nurse or the surgery. I could not have asked for a better doctor and staff."
"Dr. Harris explained everything in detail. He was very patient and kind. I would definitely recommend him to all my friends."
"I received a recommendation from a trusted source, and she was right on. I have and will continue to recommend Dr. Harris to all my female friends."
"Dr. Harris is extremely professional and friendly. He has given my life back to me and I will always recommend him to others."
"Top notch doctor and staff. I was tremendously satisfied with my bladder sling surgery and results. Dr. Harris is compassionate and treats you with dignity."
"I had trouble with incontinence. My internal medicine dr. referred me to Dr. Speights. I had surgery 6 weeks ago and the results are amazing."
"I highly recommend him. He is very personable, confident, and a caring physician. Besides being a great physician, he is a wonderful person."
"Dr. Speights repaired several issues that I had been troubled with for some time. I can now return to my normal daily activities without any problems."
"I felt very comfortable talking with Dr. Speights about the issues that I was having. He explained everything to me and was open for any questions that I might have."
"Dr. Speights was very helpful and kind. He explained my diagnosis and surgery to me and my husband in detail and answered all of our questions."