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Vaginal Atrophy

What is Vaginal Atrophy?

Traffic Sign Pointing To The "Menopause"Vaginal atrophy is the thinning and drying of the vaginal walls which can take place as we age. This is a very common condition, also known as Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) or vulvo-vaginal atrophy (VVA), atrophic vaginitis.

The condition affect up to 30%  of women in the UK. Typically occurring most often during or after the menopause. This is when the cells in the vagina are significantly lacking hydration and can coincide with the reduction oestrogen generation . This leads to the drying, thinning and inflammation of the vagina, which can understandably cause a lot of stress, discomfort and may impact intimate relationships.

Vaginal atrophy can occur at almost any age, it is estimated that almost half of post-menopausal women experience vaginal atrophy in some form.

Dr Shirin has been campaigning for this condition to become more talked about in public, so that women can feel confident to seek treatment. Many women believe that the condition is a normal part of the menopause, however this is not the case.

What are the Symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy?

There are a wide range of symptoms associated with vaginal atrophy, varying in intensity from mild, moderate to severe. You may not have all of the symptoms below:

Symptoms include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful intercourse; decreased lubrication during sexual activity
  • Bleeding or discomfort after intercourse
  • Itching and redness of the genitalia
  • Burning sensation in the vagina
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Urgency with urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Tightening vaginal canal
  • Shortening vaginal canal
  • Discharge
  • GSM – there is a strong link between the vaginal and urinary symptoms associated with vaginal atrophy, some experts tend to agree that a more suitable term for it is “genitourinary syndrome of menopause” (GSM).

Up to half of all women will not make an appointment to see a specialist when suffering from vaginal atrophy. We encourage all women to seek help and remember that a professional doctor will deal with your concerns discretely and in full confidence. More and more is being learned about various treatment options and there will be a treatment for you so that you do not have to suffer in daily silence.

What Causes Vaginal Atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy is caused by the body’s lack of oestrogen during menopause, causing vaginal tissues to shrink, dry out and thin out. The body produces less oestrogen during menopause, which can lead to thin, dry, and less elastic vaginal tissue, a condition known as vaginal atrophy.

Several triggers can lead to vaginal atrophy. The most common cause is menopause, but other factors such as hormonal changes or use of steroid medications can also result in this condition including:

  • Post-menopause
  • Perimenopause
  • Pelvic radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal cancer treatments
  • Removal of both ovaries (surgical menopause)
  • Other risk factors include smoking

What Else Can Cause Vaginal Dryness?

Various types of prescribed medication, such as the contraceptive pill or antidepressants, can also cause vaginal dryness. Also, if you are breastfeeding it may lead to lower oestrogen levels and as a result, you may experience vaginal dryness.

Vaginal dryness is not only caused by the menopause. A common cause is not being sexually aroused during foreplay or intercourse. Also using products that upset the pH balance of the vagina such as using scented soaps for your intimate areas can cause further irritation.

Vaginal dryness is a common concern among postmenopausal women, but there are steps you can take to prevent it. Do not use perfumed products in or around your intimate areas, because these products upset the natural pH balance. Use a lubricant during intercourse to prevent vaginal dryness and make sure you spend enough time on foreplay to help your body produce lubricants naturally. Experts recommend that sexually active women who experience vaginal dryness engage in regular sexual activity before, during and after menopause to maintain healthy vaginal tissue.

How is Vaginal Atrophy Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of vaginal atrophy can be made during an exam by a general practitioner or gynecologist. A pH test is conducted to measure the acidity of the vaginal area, which is then compared with normal levels. If atrophic changes are discovered, then a doctor will discuss several treatment options with you.

Can Vaginal Atrophy be Treated?

Several treatment options exist for vaginal dryness (vaginal atrophy), including hormone replacement therapy tablets, topical oestrogen in the form of pessaries, vaginal rings, or vaginal creams, and over-the-counter moisturisers or lubricants. When self-help methods are not effective or symptoms are severe enough to impact day-to-day life, it is wise to visit your GP or gynaecologist. If those methods have not resulted in controlling your symptoms, then consider the O Shot, which uses PRP Stem Cells to regenerate your intimate areas. (As seen on Embarrassing Bodies).

How to Get Help?

The first step to finding out if the treatment is right for you is to book a consultation at our award-winning clinic in Greenhithe, Kent. Here, you will be able to ask any questions, get a detailed explanation of the treatment and its outcomes, as well as get a good understanding of what to expect. Alternatively, drop us an email or call us on 01322381205.

We are very easy to find and the clinic is accessible from local stations such as Dartford and Gravesend. We are 15 minutes from Maidstone and a 20-minute drive from London.


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4.97/5 from 1229 reviews

Dr. Shirin is a fully-trained and highly-experienced aesthetic physician, who works diligently to ensure a 5 star quality service, and brings an honest and ethical approach to every one of our clients. With over 20 years of experience in the medical field, including several years as a GP and a sub-speciality in anaesthetics, Dr. Shirin is fascinated by the harmony between medicine and aesthetics, and with her expertise, Elite Aesthetics is able to offer effective, doctor-led treatments to vastly improve the lives of our clients.

To find out more about how we’ve put a smile on customers faces in the past, read our testimonials below for first-hand accounts of a variety of our treatments. You can also find out more about what we think at Elite on our blog, as well as reading more about what the press says about us. Our delighted clients hail from areas including Greenhithe, Dartford, Gravesend, Bromley, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, and West Malling – as well as from further afield.

Read How I Improved My Lichen Sclerosus

Had a consultation with Elite yesterday, I must say I was a bit nervous, but Dr Shirin was so friendly and helpful.
I was given lots of advice and was given treatment options that were within my budget.
A few weeks after the P Shot I've really started to see a difference and have gained my confidence back.

Thank You!



Elite is an outstanding professional clinic with high standard treatments. All the staff members are friendly and offer you honest opinions when it comes to products and treatments. This is a welcoming clinic that I can 100% recommend. Treatments are spoken through and explained in detail, also aftercare. I have been going nearly a year now and am happy with all the treatments I’ve had, wouldn't go anywhere else. The Bocox treatment started to work within a few days, which I was surprised about. So glad I went to Elite for treatment.



Thank you Dr Shirin, the O Shot has really helped me with my Lichen Sclerosus. I'd heard about the treatment on the LS Facebook Groups and message a few people that had treatment with Dr Shirin. I was like many in the group who had run out of treatment options and using creams on a daily basis. I have to say a few months after treatment, I can see a real positive change and I'm hoping my LS will continue to improve. Dr Shirin did say that I might have to have a second treatment given how severe my case is.




A great discovery in the neighbourhood ! There is no need to go up to London for a beauty treatment of any kind. You'll find a whole range of different treatments suiting all age groups and concerns. Welcoming, reassuring, friendly, professional, high tech. I shall be back for more. I love the results of the Thread Lift I had.


Great service as always, skin is glowing very happy


Very happy with the result of my recent visit. For sure will continue with Elite in future

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We have extensive knowledge and experience in the medical and aesthetics industries, but we know that above all, the results matter! All of our treatments are vigorously tested in-house before we offer them to our clients to ensure they are safe, effective and will give you, our wonderful clients, the results you want. Your happiness, well-being and satisfaction are at the very core of everything we do here at Elite Aesthetics, and as a result we will never over-treat or carry out a procedure that Dr. Shirin, deems inappropriate or unsafe. Ethical treatment guides our practice, and we aim to become an industry leader in this respect. This means you can always feel confident that you are in safe hands when you choose Elite Aesthetics.

Our practice is led by our founder, Dr. Shirin Lakhani, who is an advocate for greater regulation in the aesthetics industry. Dr. Shirin and Elite Aesthetics believe greater regulation is vital to the development of aesthetics industry as a whole, and as such, our clinic’s philosophy is based on providing doctor-led care to the highest, medically approved standards. We adhere to stringent ethical and medical principles ensuring all the procedures we offer are safe and effective. Dr. Shirin is also fully registered with the GMC (reference number 4634863), and Elite Aesthetics is CQC (Care Quality Commission) Registered, an endorsement recognised by the UK Government, The Department of Health and NHS England.

Elite Aesthetics has been awarded Thread Lift Certification by MINT Threads.

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17:16 05 Jun 23
Hi, Alex here,Just had my Lichen treatment today with Dr Shirin,The whole team at elite are very friendly, comforting and understanding, and did everything they could to give me a wonderful and welcoming experience. They are all so kind, friendly and knowledgeable, world experts at what they do. I am lucky to have them near London. They are also super responsive on the phone and email, so I know they care about thier patients, and I'm very well taken care of, (as with other clinics I have been to, its often difficult to get them to respond to questions), but this clinic is the most responsive I have ever seen!This is a beautiful and wonderful place and I highly recommend it, and I will be recommending it to all my friends as well. They definitely deserve the super high reviews they are getting, so I'm happy to add another one! A Big thank you from me and my family for all you have done for us during this journey!

Margaret QuirkeMargaret Quirke

19:44 11 Apr 23
Great team, friendly and professional. Made me feel very comfortable. They explain everything in detail.very welcoming upon arrival too.I've been going now for a number f weeks and the attitude and cleanliness is consistent. The reception area is always spotless no matter the weather.The staff attitude is always friendly and they put me at great ease

Salima CharifSalima Charif

09:34 30 Mar 23
Good service, honesty and excellent customer service as always 👍

Valerie LambValerie Lamb

08:40 15 Mar 23
Yesterday I had a 'body sculpt' session, to help lymphatic drainage. I was zipped into a suit up to my waist. This massaged and lightly squeezed my feet, ankles, calves, thighs and abdomen. I was breathing oxygen rich air via nasal tubes. It was very relaxing and I slept really well last night. Thank you Elite Aesthetics.

Izzy ChaplinIzzy Chaplin

20:11 09 Mar 23
Today was the first time I visited Elite. The staff were all so friendly and accommodating. Dr. Shirin is so knowledgeable and really helped me understand all the concerns I had. I will definitely be returning. I highly recommend Elite to everyone, especially those concerned with the menopause !


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