Vaginal Health

03 April 2014

Vaginal discharge in post-menopausal women

Atrophic vaginal discharge is common in post-menopausal women due to due to the falling levels of oestrogen which causes changes in the vagina. Here's your 101.

Postmenopausal (atrophic) vaginal discharge is an infection or inflammation of the vagina caused by lowered oestrogen levels that upset the vagina's normal balance.

After menopause, the vaginal tissues are no longer exposed to oestrogen and may become weakened, dry and thus prone to infection. Tiny tears or cuts may appear in the vaginal wall, causing a blood-tinged discharge.


There may be a bad-smelling vaginal discharge, which is usually thin, whitish or yellowish and sometimes blood-tinged.


Treatment consists of oestrogen replacement therapy either topically, transdermally or orally, and treatment of the secondary infection if present. A water-soluble lubricant may be used if oestrogen cannot be taken.

Other causes

These may include allergic and irritative factors or other sexually transmitted infections. Non-infectious allergic symptoms can be caused by chemicals in products such as spermicides, vaginal hygiene products, detergents, fabric softeners and more rarely, latex.

Cervical infections are also often associated with abnormal vaginal discharge, but these infections can be distinguished from true vaginal infections by appropriate tests.

In uninfected women, vaginal discharge may sometimes be present during ovulation and may become so heavy that it raises concern.

Read more:

Natural supplements for post-menopausal issues
Lifestyle causes of vaginal discharge
All about vaginal itching and what to do about it

Image: menopausal womanfrom Shutterstock


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