This guidance refers to urogenital atrophy, a chronic and progressive condition due to estrogen deficiency, most commonly associated with the menopause. There is a potential negative impact on all urogenital tissue quality including the vulva, vagina, bladder and urethra. Symptoms may not become apparent for several years after the menopause and therefore any association is lost, with women accepting symptoms as a normal part of the aging process. There may be reluctance to discuss symptoms with a clinician and this is likely to be linked with under diagnosis and under treatment. Urogenital atrophy has been described as a silent epidemic with lack of awareness affecting an accurate diagnosis and access to treatment. Whilst vaginal estrogen (also referred to as local estrogen) therapy is the best-known treatment, newer drugs and interventions are now available.

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Reviewed: June 2021
Next review date: June 2024