• Vaginal Atrophy

    When we talk about menopause, we talk about a whole transition that happens to women with aging, and realistically, one of the areas that's not that well talked about is vaginal atrophy. 

  • Loading the player...

    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses What is Vaginal Atrophy?
    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses What is Vaginal Atrophy?
  • Loading the player...

    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses What are the Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy
    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses What are the Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy
  • Loading the player...

    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses how to speak to your family doctor about vaginal atrophy.
    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses how to speak to your family doctor about vaginal atrophy.
  • Loading the player...

    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses Treatment Options for Vaginal Atrophy
    Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, FCFP, NCMP, Family Physician, discusses Treatment Options for Vaginal Atrophy
  • What is Vaginal Atrophy?

    When we talk about menopause, we talk about a whole transition that happens to women with aging, and realistically, one of the areas that's not that well talked about is vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy, or genital urinary estrogen deficiency, which means less estrogen in the genital region, really is a reflection of decreased estrogen stores in the body, decreased estrogen production. 

                        

    This is one area where we know symptoms get worse with time. Doctors often say, give it a bit of time and it will get better. Hot flashes, for example, do get better with time. 

    So it's really important to consider this issue if you are having symptoms and to speak to your doctor. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health. 

    Presenter: Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Doctor, Toronto, ON

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

  • Discussing Vaginal Atrophy With Your Doctor

    When women suffer from vaginal atrophy, or genital estrogen deficiency, they may feel embarrassed, they may feel shy, they may be reluctant to talk to their doctor. And some doctors are feeling shy, and embarrassed, and reluctant to talk to their patients. Patients often think if the doctor doesn't ask the question, it can't be important and doctors may think if the patient doesn't bring it up, it must not be important. 

    It is really important to discuss this with your physician, to book for a gynecologic assessment so that you can be properly examined, and a decision can be made as to whether this is what you are suffering from. There are other things that may be causing problems in this area. Perhaps you have a local infection; perhaps you have issues with thyroid disease. It's important to realize that not everything vaginally is vaginal atrophy. But nonetheless, step one is meet with your physician. 

    Step two is have an open conversation. Are things going well for you at home? Are things with your partner okay? Or are you feeling that there are other emotional issues affecting your relationship? Local estrogen therapy, which is the treatment for vaginal atrophy, will not fix relationship issues and it's important for you to discuss this with your partner and with your physician. 

    Some of the other issues that you may consider when you're looking at changes in sexual function are issues like depression, fatigue, stress, and certain medications which we know have an effect on interest, as well as function, in sexual activity. 

    Generally speaking, this is a process and a transition when we talk about menopause and it's a value for you to consider where you've come from and where you're going. This is step one, meet with your physician. Step two, discuss the issues, and step three, include your partner in this discussion so as a couple you can move forward in a positive way. If your physician is not able to answer all your questions, you can be referred to someone more expert in menopause, or you may want to be referred to someone more expert in sexual function. 

    And across Canada, there are licensed sexual therapists dealing with some issues that may have an effect on your situation. It's important to be hopeful and optimistic if vaginal atrophy is one of the issues you've been facing, both for yourself and in your relationship. Consult your family doctor. There are options for you to consider and you may want to take your partner with you to that appointment. It's something that's affecting both of you.
    Presenter: Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Doctor, Toronto, ON

    Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

Family Practice Now

Family Practice Now

-->