Vaginal atrophy, or vaginal ageing, affects in excess of 40 per cent of menopausal and post-menopausal women. The walls of the vagina become thinner and the natural elasticity and blood supply is reduced. The protective mucosa of the vagina can lose hydration and thickness causing a loss of lubrication. The changes in the natural pH balance of the internal environment have detrimental effects on the function and health of the vagina.
The symptoms of vaginal atrophy may or may not occur simultaneously and may be felt as:
The symptoms of vaginal atrophy can have both a physical and emotional impact on the patient, including affecting their intimate relationships.
In excess of 40 per cent of menopausal and post-menopausal women are affected by vaginal atrophy will experience some or all of the symptoms listed above.
In addition, younger women who have used the Pill for prolonged periods, breast-feeding mothers and women who experienced traumatic delivery and severe perineal repair and scarring may also experience these symptoms.
Around 60 per cent of breast cancer sufferers can also be affected by vaginal atrophy and unfortunately Hormone Replacement Therapy is not suitable for almost all of these patients meaning that there is no effective treatment for their symptoms.