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What is vaginal atrophy?

Boston Women's Health Book Collective
Administration Specialist

Vaginal atrophy (thinning of the skin of the vulva and vagina due to fluctuating or low estrogen levels) is a frequent cause of itching and irritation in women during the menopause transition and beyond.

Women who are in the menopause transition may notice vaginal dryness, irritation, or pain with intercourse as the very first sign of the transition. Since many women think that hot flashes are the first sign of menopause, we may not even think "menopause" or "perimenopause" when we begin to experience vaginal dryness. While some women with atrophy need treatment, most women with low estrogen levels have some degree of atrophy, but do not require treatment, especially if they are not having sex that includes vaginal penetration.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH," A TRUSTWORTHY, UP-TO-DATE GUIDE TO HELP EVERY WOMAN NAVIGATE THE MENOPAUSE TRANSITION For decades, millions of women have relied on Our...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.