Hi Dr. Wolloch:

I am 55 and having lots of vaginal itching, burning, and discomfort.

What can I do about this?

Thank you, Anne.

Dear Anne:

The first thing to do is to see your Gynecologist or somewhere similar to this facility for STD testing in NYC for a check – up. Cultures should be taken to ensure you do not have some type of infection or a sexually transmitted disease, (STD). Once that is completed, and shows that you are in the clear, the next reason for your symptoms are probably due to natural aging.

In peri – menopause, and then menopause, women who have not experienced vaginal changes in their 40s will most certainly see them in their 50s. These changes may be particularly obvious in a woman that is not taking Bio – Identical Replacement Therapy. (BHRT).

As we age, the skin around the vagina will become paler and internally, the skin may be more fragile. Vaginal dryness, also known as Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM), is a recognized condition that affects many women in their 50s. GSM can cause some distressing symptoms, such as pain during sex, itchy, dry sensations, and an urgent need to urinate.
As it is vital for women to maintain their quality of life through the menopause, there are various safe, effective treatments available for vaginal dryness, burning and discomfort.

There are vaginal moisturizers and topical estrogen creams and pills that can provide relief, as well as longer lasting solutions, including laser therapy treatments, which are a proven, effective solution for vaginal dryness symptoms, eliminating troublesome itching, irritation, and in some cases, pain.

Knowing what is best for you, in particular, to alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms can be a source of unneeded stress. Working with an experienced Doctor to decide on a specialized treatment plan, for you, is your best bet.

Thank you,
Emmanuela Wolloch, MD, FACOG.