Atrophic Vaginitis: Care Instructions

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Female pelvic organs

Your Care Instructions

Atrophic vaginitis is an irritation of the vagina. It's caused by thinning tissues and less moisture in the vaginal walls. It often happens during menopause when hormone levels change. Surgery to remove the ovaries also can cause it. Your doctor may do tests to rule out other causes. And you may get tests to measure your hormone levels.

The problem is most often treated with the hormone estrogen. It comes in a cream, tablets, or a soft plastic ring that is placed in the vagina.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Use a water-based lubricant for your vagina if sex is dry or painful. Examples are Astroglide and K-Y Jelly.
  • Talk with your doctor about using low-dose vaginal estrogen. It treats dryness and thinning tissue.
  • Do not douche.
  • Having sex improves blood flow to the vagina. This helps keep your tissue healthy.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have unexpected vaginal bleeding.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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