CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
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.
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