You may not want to talk about Vaginal Atrophy,
so we will...
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
If the answer is yes, you are not alone! These bothersome symptoms are among the many warning signs of a condition called Vaginal Atrophy (VA) or Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) and can occur at any stage in life.
There's no getting away from it, vaginal dryness is difficult to talk about. It's awkward, it's embarrassing and it leaves us feeling uncomfortable. Many women have gone through periods of vaginal dryness at various stages of their lives. Vaginal atrophy is a silent epidemic that affects many women who are undoubtedly suffering in silence.
Sex does not need to be a pain…many women are affected, yet too few speak up.
What is Vaginal Atrophy (VA)?
Vaginal atrophy is a treatable, chronic condition that refers to the thinning of the wall of the vagina. Vaginal atrophy is a common condition which results from the hormonal changes that occur at menopause (the time when menstrual periods have ceased); after childbirth; from underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity; or due to the side effects of medications such as cancer chemotherapy. This can greatly affect quality of life, even making sitting, standing, exercising or urinating uncomfortable. It can also cause pain during intercourse.
The earliest symptoms are decreased vaginal lubrication (dryness) and pain during sexual intercourse, followed by other vaginal and urinary symptoms that may be exacerbated by superimposed infection. Vaginal atrophy also can increase your risk of vaginal infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Vaginal Atrophy: You are not alone…you can’t bring down the pain until you bring it up!
Vaginal Atrophy is More Common than You Think
- According to the VIVA Survey, almost half of postmenopausal women surveyed in Canada experience vaginal discomfort. Among these women:1
- 88% experienced vaginal dryness;
- 49% experienced pain during intercourse.
- According to the CLOSER Survey:2
- 27% of Canadian women said vaginal atrophy made them lose confidence in themselves as a sexual partner;
- 3 out of 4 Post-Menopausal Canadian Women Avoid Intimacy due to vaginal dryness and soreness.
1. Frank SM et al. Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) survey - Canadian cohort. Menopause Int. 2013 Mar;19(1):20-7.
2. Gingras L et al. CLOSER, CLarifying Vaginal Atrophy’s Impact On SEx and Relationships. SOGC 68th Annual Conference. June 2012.
Many women are unaware that they can get very effective non-hormonal treatment for vaginal atrophy and that prompt treatment can keep problems from getting worse.
Despite being a common symptom, the condition remains a taboo subject, as Canadians continue to live up to their reputation of being a nation of prudes. Choosing not to treat the condition can have a serious impact on a woman’s overall sense of mental and physical well-being, with a fifth of women claiming that they have been left feeling depressed as a result.
Vaginal Atrophy can be a big CHANGE in a woman’s life. The good news is that there is now a natural and non-hormonal option to take on these CHANGES head on.
The first step is to talk about what you’re feeling. These issues can be embarrassing to discuss and near taboo, but there is no need to continue to suffer in silence. That’s why we’re speaking up and letting women know they have options to address the root cause of vaginal dryness and painful sex.