Topical Estrogen Therapy

Robert Sterling Hollabaugh, Jr. M.D., FACS

Many women notice changes in the vaginal area as they age. These changes are commonly called “urogenital atrophy” or “atrophic vaginitis,” which develop related to diminished estrogen hormone levels in the female body.

Up to 40 percent of postmenopausal women have symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. This condition is caused by a decrease in estrogen. Decreases in estrogen may be due to a variety of causes including (1) natural menopause, usually occurring around the age of 50, (2) surgical removal of the ovaries which is often done as part of a hysterectomy or (3) with certain medications. Regardless of the cause, natural or surgical, the lack of hormone in the female system will cause changes in the body. When hormone production decreases, the body goes thru a variety of changes, including moodiness, lethargy, hot flashes, menstrual irregularity, osteoporosis, and vaginal dryness.

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