What is Vaginal Atrophy?

Dr MJ

Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause when the body has less estrogen and is characterised by the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls. This not only makes intercourse painful but can also lead to distressing urinary symptoms

What are the symptoms of vaginal atrophy?

With moderate to severe genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), the following vaginal and urinary symptoms may present themselves:

-       Vaginal dryness

-       Vaginal burning

-       Vaginal discharge

-       Genital itching

-       Burning with urination

-       Urgency with urination

-       Frequent urinary tract infections

-       Urinary incontinence

-       Light bleeding after intercourse

-       Discomfort during intercourse

-       Decreased vaginal lubrication during intercourse

-       Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

These symptoms affect up to 50% of women and can significantly reduce quality of life in women during and after menopause.

What causes vaginal atrophy?

The female hormone oestrogen affects the health of the tissues in and around the vagina. Adequate production of oestrogen prior to menopause is what keeps the vagina moist, well lubricated and the vaginal wall lining thicker and more elastic. During and after menopause, the ovaries begin to produce less oestrogen which in turn affects the tissues in and around the vagina which leads to thinning and a reduced number of mucus forming glands. These hormonal changes contribute to the above symptoms.

What are the complications associated with Genitourinary syndrome of menopause?

GSM increases your risk of:

-       Vaginal infections. The chances in the acid balance of your vaginal makes vaginal infections more likely.

-       Urinary problems. Urinary changes that are associated with GSM can contribute to urinary problems. There may be an increased frequency or urgency of urination or burning with urination. Some women experience more urinary tract infections or incontinence.

 

What are traditional treatments for vaginal atrophy?

There are various preparations and medications available that can help to alleviate the symptoms of vaginal atrophy. From non-hormonal vaginal lubricants and vaginal oestrogen creams to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Though these treatments usually work well, it is entirely possible that the symptoms may return once treatment has been stopped.

What is Renovalase Medical Laser Treatment?

RenovaLase® is a revolutionary medical laser treatment designed to improve “trophism” or nutrition and metabolism of vaginal tissues. Treatment improves the function of vaginal mucosa and reverses the effects of atrophy. The non-ablative laser beam gently heats vaginal canal, without causing thermal damage, stimulates cell regeneration, increases the amount of collagen, elastin and blood flow in vaginal tissues. Improved blood flow and repaired vaginal tissues result in increased lubrication and mucosal elasticity.

RenovaLase® is a safe and effective medical laser procedure that can be of great help in cases where hormonal oestrogen treatments are not an option or not desired.

The effects of healthier vaginal tissues and improved symptoms can last for up to12 months. Yearly booster treatments are advised to maintain longevity and effectiveness of this procedure.

What is the process?

During your initial consultation Dr Janjic will take your medical history, perform an assessment to evaluate if this treatment is likely to help you and answer any questions that you may have. Your RenovaLase® medical laser procedure will be performed on the following visits. It will take approximately 45 minutes per session.

You can leave immediately after the procedure and continue your daily routine. There may be some minimal sensitivity after the treatment and a transparent discharge for 2 to 3 days afterwards. Excessive exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for 2 weeks. Sexual intercourse is not recommended for 2 weeks after the procedure.

If you suffer from vaginal atrophy, book a consultation with Dr Janjic to find out if this treatment is right for you.