Atrophic Vaginitis


Atrophic vaginitis is characterized by redness, itching, and dryness of the vagina. Over time, there may be narrowing and shrinkage of the vaginal opening and the vagina itself.
Nuclus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


A woman’s ovaries make estrogen until menopause, which happens at about 52 years of age. Before menopause, estrogen in a woman’s bloodstream helps keep the skin of the vagina healthy and stimulates vaginal secretions. After menopause, when the ovaries stop making estrogen, or after ovarian failure or removal, the walls of the vagina become thin, and vaginal secretions are lessened. Similar changes can happen to some women after childbirth, but in this case these changes are temporary and less severe.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of more severe symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include:


Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis can range from minor to severe. They include:
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal itching or burning
  • Vaginal pain
  • Problems with sexual intimacy because of painful intercourse


You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a doctor specializing in women’s reproductive health. Your vaginal fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
  • A test of the acid-base balance (pH balance) of the vagina
  • A swabbing of a small part of the vaginal wall

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

A randomized trial found that drinking water before main meals led to higher weight loss than those who were asked to imagine a full stomach before main meals. Water preloading is believed to help create a feeling of fullness or satiety during the meal, which may help curb overeating.

dot separator
previous editions

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

Exercise Associated with Healthy Baby Weight
June 2015

Mindful Meditation May Reduce Symptoms and Complications of Insomnia
May 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »