What Does Vaginal Atrophy Feel Like?

Vaginal atrophy is one of the side effects of menopause. When a woman has adequate estrogen, all is well, but as soon as estrogen begins to decline, many negative consequences ensue. Vaginal atrophy is one of them. What does vaginal atrophy feel like?

Lack of Estrogen Causes Changes to the Vagina

The inside of a healthy vagina has moisture and a thick lining. Sexual intercourse is easy and pleasurable. During perimenopause and menopause, women begin to have less of the hormone estrogen which can affect many normal functions including those of the vagina. Women can also have the same issues when undergoing cancer treatments or having their ovaries removed.

As estrogen declines, the lining of the vagina becomes thinner, and there is a lack of moisture and blood flow. This makes sexual intercourse at best, difficult, and at worst, impossible and painful. Talk with our OBGYNs at The Women’s Centre for Well Being in The Woodlands, TX for some solutions and treatments before it gets worse.

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause

Recently vaginal atrophy is being replaced by a new name, genitourinary syndrome of menopause, or GSM. This is to account for the urinary side effects that accompany menopause and vaginal atrophy due to the decline in estrogen.

What Are Common Symptoms of GSM?

The unpleasant symptoms of GSM and less estrogen include the following:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal itching
  • Burning sensation with urination
  • Urinary urgency
  • Frequent urination
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Light bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Discomfort or pain with intercourse
  • Decreased lubrication during intercourse
  • Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

Of course all these symptoms are troubling. They all add up to pain, irritation, and a lack of enjoyment during sexual activity. The itching and burning can occur at any time and the urinary issues can cause additional embarrassing situations.

Due to vaginal dryness, it becomes more difficult to initiate sexual intercourse and to reach orgasm. This can become a real problem between couples.  

When you have vaginal atrophy (GSM) it feels like you have traded bodies with an old woman. 

A thin, dry, and inflamed vagina is no picnic, but you don’t have to live the rest of your life with these limitations and discomforts. 

Contact The Women’s Centre for Well Being at (832) 813-0979 for options to improve the unpleasant symptoms of vaginal atrophy.