What are the symptoms of atrophic vaginitis?

Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include pain, itching, or burning of the vagina, as well as discharge. The tissues tend to be thin and dry, so vaginal intercourse may be painful and may be followed by bleeding. Vaginal tissues may also be easily aggravated by irritants, such as powders, perfumes, pads and panty liners, soap, spermicides, and tight-fitting clothes.

Common symptoms of atrophic vaginitis

Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis can range from mild discomfort to severe irritation. Common symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include:

  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Difficult or painful urination or burning with urination (dysuria)
  • Increased sensitivity to irritants
  • Increased susceptibility to vaginal infections
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain, itching or burning of the vagina
  • Vaginal discharge, which may be foul-smelling and yellow
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal redness

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, atrophic vaginitis may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition. Seek prompt medical care if you, or someone you are with, have atrophic vaginitis along with any symptoms such as:

  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Red or white patches of the vagina or vulva
  • Thickened area of the vaginal tissue
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge, which may be foul-smelling and yellow
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal pain, itching or burning
  • Vaginal sore
INTRODUCTION

What is atrophic vaginitis?

Atrophic vaginitis is the thinning and inflammation of vaginal tissues due to a drop in estrogen levels. This is accompanied by a decrease in lubrication. Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include itching, burning and discomfort; sometimes a bad-smelling, yellowish discharge may be present. Sexual intercourse may be painful and may be followed by light bleeding.... Read more about atrophic vaginitisintroduction

CAUSES

What causes atrophic vaginitis?

Atrophic vaginitis is caused by a decrease in estrogen level. Estrogen levels naturally drop immediately following delivery, while breastfeeding, and during menopause. They drop abruptly after surgical removal of the ovaries. Other medical interventions, such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, can also lead to decreased estrogen levels, as can excessive exercising, anorexia, stress, and depression.... Read more about atrophic vaginitiscauses

TREATMENTS

How is atrophic vaginitis treated?

Estrogen replacement is one of the main treatments for atrophic vaginitis. It may be replaced locally, so that very little of the estrogen reaches the rest of the body, or systemically, so that it is distributed throughout the body. Over-the-counter moisturizers may also help alleviate some of the symptoms, as can the use of water-soluble lubricants during intercourse.... Read more about atrophic vaginitistreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.