Atrophic Vaginitis (Vaginal dryness)
Vaginal dryness is present when the tissues of the vagina are no longer well-lubricated and healthy.
When these symptoms are caused by a decreased amount of estrogen in a woman’s body, this problem is called atrophic vaginitis.
Atrophic vaginitis is caused by a decrease in estrogen.
Estrogen keeps the tissues of the vagina lubricated and healthy. Normally, the lining of the vagina makes a clear, lubricating fluid. This fluid makes sexual intercourse more comfortable. It also helps decrease vaginal dryness.
If estrogen levels drop off, the vaginal tissue shrinks and become thinner. This causes dryness and inflammation.
Estrogen levels normally drop after menopause. The following may also cause estrogen levels to drop:
Medicines or hormones used in the treatment of breast cancer, endometriosis, fibroids, or infertility.
Surgery to remove the ovaries
Radiation treatment to the pelvic area
Severe stress, depression, or intense exercise.
Some women develop this problem right after childbirth or while breastfeeding. Estrogen levels are lower at these times.
The vagina can also become further irritated from soaps, laundry detergents, lotions, perfumes, or douches. Certain medicines, smoking, tampons, and condoms may also cause or worsen vaginal dryness.