| Tara Langdale
Vaginal atrophy (also known as vulvovaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis) is a condition that commonly occurs during or after menopause, or after chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include thinning of the skin (sometimes leading to tearing), lack of lubrication, pain and inflammation. It usually develops once estrogen levels are lower, and as they get lower still, symptoms can worsen.
Vaginal atrophy symptoms can cause women another set of problems in the form of painful sex (dyspareunia), as well as burning or stinging when urinating, urgency, increased frequency and leaking. During the early stages of vaginal atrophy you may find relief using vaginal moisturizers and water-based lubricants, but as and when symptoms worsen, other solutions may be necessary. Estrogen and dilators are two of the most common vaginal atrophy treatments, and we’re here to tell you why that is….
Estrogen products for vaginal atrophy
If vaginal moisturizers like Replens are no longer working for you or you think you need more than water-based personal lubricant, you may wish to look into the below estrogen therapy options for atrophic vaginitis. Estrogen products can help to replace the diminished estrogen in your body, thus reducing uncomfortable symptoms. Note that these will need to be prescribed by a Doctor, but they may not be suitable for women with a history of deep vein thrombosis or stroke.
- Vaginal estrogen tablets
One option is to insert a pessary into the vagina using an applicator. It will gradually dissolve and the estrogen will be absorbed into the vaginal tissues. At first you will need to use them every second night for a few weeks, later reducing application as needed. Your Doctor will advise according to progress.
- Topical estrogen creams
Vaginal estrogen creams can be topically applied to the vaginal area, effectively raising your estrogen levels and slowing or halting those testing symptoms. For the first two weeks (or up to a month) it’s a good idea to apply it on a nightly basis. After this time, you should be able to drop it down to every second or third night.
- Estrogen rings
Vaginal estrogen rings are flexible rubber rings that gradually release estrogen into the vagina once inserted. These can be quite convenient as they only need replacing after 3 months, but of course will need to be removed when you are engaging in sexual intercourse.
- Estrogen pills, patches or gels
In some instances a Doctor might prescribe estrogen pills, patches or gels. It’s also possible they will recommend a progestin supplement also (but only for those who have not had a hysterectomy).
Dilators for vaginal atrophy
Vaginal dilators help vaginal atrophy in a big way. Dilators can widen your vagina, making it easier and more comfortable to have sex once again. Depending on the severity of your atrophy, you may need to start with the narrowest dilator and work upward to the larger sizes. Once your vagina has the capacity for pain-free sexual intercourse, you can reduce your dilator use. However, you may need to continue with dilator use ongoing if you wish to retain the capacity required for comfortable sex.
Many of our customers find that our Neodymium magnetic dilator range is perfect for atrophic vaginitis since they not only expand the vaginal walls, but also add elasticity to the tissues. The magnets are strategically placed inside the dilators to encourage blood flow to the vaginal tissues, which has a regenerative effect and relieves pain at the same time. We have a vaginal atrophy FAQ page, which should answer any questions you have, but of course you are welcome to drop us a line if you don’t find the answers you’re looking for.
Do you need to order vaginal dilators so you can start your pelvic floor therapy process? Made in the USA. Visit www.vuvatech.com
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Tara Langdale Schmidt is the inventor of the VuVa Dilator Company. She has pelvic floor dysfunction herself and wanted to create a dilator set that is made in America that women can trust. VuVatech has been in business since 2014 and has helped over 40,000 women all over the globe. She patented the Neodymium Vaginal Dilator, that is clinically proven to help with blood flow and nerve pain.