Vaginal atrophy is caused by a decrease in estrogen production. Less estrogen makes your vaginal tissues thinner, drier, less elastic and more fragile.

A drop in estrogen levels and vaginal atrophy may occur:

  • After menopause
  • During the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause)
  • During breast-feeding
  • After surgical removal of both ovaries (surgical menopause)
  • After pelvic radiation therapy for cancer
  • After chemotherapy for cancer
  • As a side effect of breast cancer hormonal treatment

Vaginal atrophy due to menopause may begin to bother you during the years leading up to menopause, or it may not become a problem until several years into menopause. Although the condition is common, not all menopausal women develop vaginal atrophy. Regular sexual activity, with or without a partner, can help you maintain healthy vaginal tissues.

Apr. 23, 2013

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