This common problem arises during the peri and menopause period. It happens because of a decrease in the female hormone oestrogen. As a result changes in the lining of the vagina take place causing it to be thinner, more susceptible to infection and inflammation. If you are starting to feel itch, discomfort, dryness and pain with intercourse, more discharge then usual then you probably have this condition and should seek help from your gynaecologist. Of course not every peri or menopausal woman will have it, but there is no need to suffer the discomfort as treatment is available. In a sense treatment should be sought as the vagina will slowly contract in size and the lining of the vagina will eventually stick together and make it difficult to view the neck of the womb necessary for doing a PAP smear. An early cancer of the cervix can therefore go undetected.
Treatment is with creams or pessaries inserted in the vagina. The oestrogen pessaries are inserted nightly for 2 weeks to obtain a therapeutic effect and then maintained with 2 weekly insertions. The effect of the oestrogens is local and only a small amount is absorbed into the blood stream, making it safe to use for prolonged periods. Oestrogens taken orally are mostly ineffective for this condition.