Vaginal atrophy, also called atrophic vaginitis, is regular phenomenon of the aging process that occurs in many women. As a result of the decreased estrogen level, the blood supply to the vaginal walls is reduced, they grow thinner and lose their elasticity. The vaginal mucosa loses its natural lubrication (the product of transudation from the vessels passing under the mucosa, since the vaginal mucous membrane itself has no glands and the vaginal contents are transudate from these vessels). This leads to a feeling of dryness, redness, inflammation, discomfort and frequent cyst-like occurrences. Vaginal pH is above 5-6, strongly alkaline, which favors the development of any aerobic and anaerobic flora with the risk of ascending the infection and the occurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease and even pelvioperitonitis. In addition, due to atrophy, a bloody spotting may often occur, resulting in patient anxiety and unnecessary curettage. Up to 50% of menopausal women suffer from atrophic vaginitis, but only ¼ of them seek medical attention.
Symptoms of vaginal atrophy:
- Dryness, itching, burning in the vagina;
- Painful sexual intercourse – dyspareunia;
- Slight spotting after sexual intercourse;
- Loss of lubrication;
- An increased incidence of urinary tract infections.
What group of women are affected by vaginal atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy is caused by estrogen deficiency, therefore it mainly affects menopausal women but also younger women with onco-gynecologic diseases undergoing radiotherapy in the small pelvis or breast cancer, or taking ovarian suppression agents (such as Zoladex).
What are the treatment options for vaginal atrophy?
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can control a wide range of menopausal symptoms, including vaginal atrophy.
- Another option for women who do not want or are contraindicated for hormonal treatment are local creams with moisturizing and lubricating effect, as well as estrogen creams. They can’t be permanently administered and have a temporary symptom-relieving effect.
- Laser systems, one of which is Fotona and more precisely its RenovaLase application. It provides outpatient, painless, short and effective treatment for vaginal atrophy.
What is the RenovaLase procedure?
The method of operation is thermal stimulation of new collagen and remodeling of the available. As a result elasticity, circulation, lubrication is increased and comfort in the vagina is ensured, both at rest and during sexual intercourse.
3 procedures, one every month, are applied and the patient can often feel the effect after one session. Each procedure lasts 15-20 minutes, runs absolutely pain-free and comfortably, and the patient continues to perform daily activities after. The treatment of vaginal atrophy with the Fotona laser system and the RenovaLase program in particular is the most effective and well-tolerated treatment up to date.