Atrophic vaginitis is experienced by around 50% of postmenopausal women with a host of symptoms including vaginal dryness and irritation, burning and itching. Declining oestrogen levels affect vaginal flora allowing bacteria to proliferate, causing a vaginal discharge. Lower oestrogen levels are related to increased urinary tract infections as the walls of the urethra and bladder become thinner. Painful intercourse is another distressing symptom that’s often difficult to discuss with a partner or doctor so this condition may go untreated. Women who have not experienced a vaginal birth have more severe symptoms with atrophic vaginitis.

Use a hand mirror to check for tell tale signs of atrophic vaginitis

  • Sparse pubic hair
  • Dry labia
  • Lesions on the vulva
  • Vaginal walls are pale and dry with areas of patchy redness

Home Test

Use some simple Litmus paper – hold it against the vaginal wall until it becomes moist. If the pH level is more than 5.0, this indicates atrophic vaginitis.

Helpful Tips

  • Use a vaginal moisturizer or lubricant, which are available from a chemist or pharmacy.
  • Vaginal oestrogen supplies local eostrogen to the vaginal walls, urethra and pelvic tissues. Vaginal oestrogen is obtained on prescription and available as a tablet, cream or pessary insertion.
  • Vaginal oestrogen is used daily for 2 weeks to gain a therapeutic response then 1 to 2 times weekly. Implanted vaginal oestrogen rings supply oestrogen for 90 days.
  • Pelvic floor exercises improve muscle tone and blood supply.
  • Orgasm is beneficial to improve blood supply and muscle tone.