Vulvovaginal Issues & Vaginal Atrophy
Questions and Answers
What are Vulvovaginal Issues and Vaginal Atrophy?
Your external genitalia, known as the vulva, includes the outer lips (labia majora), inner lips (labia minora), and the clitoris. Vulvovaginal issues refer to problems that arise in any of the vulvar tissues, inside the vagina, or both.
A variety of factors can contribute to vulvovaginal issues. Reduced levels of estrogen associated with menopause and aging can cause multiple vulvovaginal symptoms, including vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy involves the weakening of the vaginal muscles; loss of lubrication causing vaginal dryness frequently accompanies vaginal atrophy. Injury, infection, skin conditions, and other concerns can also lead to vulvovaginal issues.
What are the Symptoms of Vulvovaginal Issues?
Vulvovaginal symptoms associated with menopause include vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, difficulty achieving orgasm, and urinary incontinence. Other conditions can also cause these symptoms.
Additional vulvovaginal symptoms include:
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal odor
- Genital pain
- Pelvic pain
- Bleeding during or after intercourse
Skin conditions, such as lichen planus, lichen sclerosis, or eczema, can cause visible white patches, cracking, or crusting.
What is the Treatment for Vulvovaginal Issues and Vaginal Atrophy?
Treatment depends on the cause of your symptoms and other individual factors. Dr. Brown and his team at Alabama UROGYN have expertise treating a broad range of vulvovaginal conditions. To address vaginal atrophy and other symptoms of menopause, he may recommend:
- Hormone Therapy: Hormone pellet therapy, oral hormones, and topical estrogen creams can replenish estrogen loss due to menopause. Estrogen helps restore lubrication and enhance sexual response.
- Radiofrequency and Laser Treatments: Radiofrequency treatments and laser therapy using the CO2RE® Intima laser offer a noninvasive option to restore muscle tone and improve vaginal lubrication. These safe in-office procedures improve vaginal atrophy, enhance clitoral sensation, and reduce pain during intercourse.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves an in-office procedure using your own blood platelets. First, a small blood sample drawn from your arm gets processed in a centrifuge to isolate your platelets and plasma. This serum is then reinjected into your vulvar tissue. Growth factors contained in the platelets stimulate cell regeneration, increasing sensitivity and lubrication.
Vulvovaginal issues caused by an infection or skin condition typically require oral or topical medication to resolve.
To improve vulvovaginal symptoms and vaginal atrophy, don’t hesitate to schedule a confidential consultation.