Vaginal Atrophy Specialist
Vaginal atrophy can cause considerable pain and discomfort. The providers at Embry Women’s Health provide care for women throughout the Mesa and Chandler, Arizona, areas, Barbara Lockwood WHNP and JoEllen Embry WHNP are skilled in state-of-the-art techniques to help women overcome vaginal atrophy so they can lead more comfortable lives.
Vaginal Atrophy Q & A
What is vaginal atrophy?
As women age, their levels of estrogen and progesterone drop precipitously. Vaginal atrophy is a potential side effect of this hormonal decline, causing the vaginal walls to thin out and become dry, inflamed and hypersensitive. Women with vaginal atrophy tend to experience significant discomfort during intercourse, and they’re also more likely to develop urinary tract infections and vaginal infections.
What symptoms does vaginal atrophy cause?
When atrophy is very mild, it may cause very few or even no noticeable symptoms. As the condition progresses, symptoms can include:
- burning or itching sensations in the vagina
- vaginal dryness
- vaginal discharge
- increased need to urinate or burning during urination
- decreased natural lubrication during intercourse
- painful intercourse
- spotting or light bleeding following intercourse
- tightening of the vaginal canal
- discomfort after intercourse
Although vaginal atrophy is most common during menopause, it can also occur when breastfeeding or in women who have lower levels of estrogen.
What treatments are available for vaginal atrophy?
Treatment begins with an examination and testing to check your urine or measure the acid levels in your vagina. Blood tests may also be ordered. Based on the results of the exam, treatment options may include:
- special moisturizers applied to the vagina every few days to help replenish natural moisture and protect the delicate lining
- lubricants designed fir use during sexual intercourse to decrease friction and relieve discomfort
- estrogen creams applied to the vaginal canal and developed to stimulate lubrication
- hormone replacement therapy using estrogen pills to elevate systemic levels of estrogen
To avoid potentially serious side effects, especially if you’ve had breast cancer or have risk factors for breast cancer, you should only use vaginal lubricants as directed by our staff, and never rely on over-the-counter products, some of which may cause allergic reactions.
Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information:
Words from our patients
JoEllen is AMAZING! Not only is she professional- she makes your whole experience comfortable. If you’re looking for a professional that never judges your situation and treats you very well- I would definitely recommend this office!
5 Stars – Yelp
It is refreshing to meet a practitioner who sees the whole patient and not just a series of symptoms. JoEllen is willing to spend the time to ask questions and really listen to the responses. I have seen JoEllen several times and I have always appreciated how much time she spends with each appointment and her pragmatic approach with solutions. I feel like my health drives the appointment and not the schedule. Finding JoEllen’s practice was like finding a needle in a haystack, a caring practitioner who encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to be their own best advocate.
5 Stars – 10/11/2018
Friendly staff. JoEllen is incredibly kind, patient and answers all of my questions whenever I see her. I don’t feel like I am being rushed when I am there, it is very nice.
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
I went in as a new patient just for an annual exam and Dr. Barbara Lockwood was so professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. She made sure to answer any and every question I had and she made sure I understood everything I needed to know. I have been to some offices in the past where you feel judged but she was so kind and made me feel so comfortable talking to her! I will be moving away soon but I might just have to make the drive back to see her next year!
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
“I started seeing Joellen earlier this year and I have had nothing but good experiences every time I have gone back. She is very down to earth and listens to any concerns. I would highly recommend Embry Womens Health.”
5 stars – 09/28/2018