Many women are hesitant to speak to their doctor about vaginal health, either due to embarrassment, cultural values, or acceptance of such symptoms as an inevitable consequence of aging. One Canadian survey revealed that one-third (32%) of women who experienced symptoms of VA waited for more than a year before finally seeking help!

  • Almost 3/4 of women agree that VA can have negative consequences on a woman's sex life
  • 1/5 of women feel VA has made them emotionally distant from their partner
  • 44% of women say VA makes them feel old
  • Almost 1/4 of Canadian women felt less attractive as a result of VA
  • 66% of post-menopausal women avoid sexual intimacy fearing it is too painful

Getting relief from VA

After learning more about your condition with a discussion and an exam, your doctor will be able to help you decide what to do to start feeling better, including possibly referring you to a gynaecologist.

The Discussion:

Be ready to answer questions about your general health, habits or behaviours related to your sexual health, and how your symptoms have been affecting you, such as:

  • What symptoms are you having?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • How have these symptoms affected you on a day-to-day basis?
  • Have your symptoms affected your sex life? If so, how?
  • Have you tried any vaginal moisturizers or lubricants to help with your symptoms?
  • Do you still have menstrual periods?
  • Have you ever been treated for cancer?
  • What medicines or vitamins do you take, including the kind you can buy without a prescription?
  • Do you use scented soaps or bubble baths?
  • Do you douche or use feminine hygiene sprays?

The Exam:

You have probably experienced vaginal examinations, and the tests for VA are likely no different. Here's a quick run-down of the tests that will help your doctor or healthcare professional diagnose VA:

  • A pelvic exam – The doctor or healthcare professional feels the pelvic organs and looks at the vagina and the cervix.
  • A Pap test – Using a small brush, like a mascara wand, a sample of cells from the cervix is taken, then examined under a microscope. The doctor or healthcare professional may also take a sample of vaginal secretions, or test the acid level in the vagina using a paper indicator strip.
  • A urine test – If you have any urinary symptoms (like leaking or urgency when you need to go to the washroom), your doctor or healthcare professional may ask for a sample of your urine so it can be tested as well.

Let's face it: It can be hard to talk about feminine concerns. These matters are considered private and women often put their family's issues above their own, rather than talking about their own concerns. But remember that you do not need to suffer with the symptoms of VA. There are mess-free treatment options available. Start talking VA!

Joan Boone's Story –
No More Suffering in Silence

Joan BooneJoan Boone, a Canadian Boomer who started experiencing vaginal symptoms at an early age, is one of many women who was embarrassed to speak to a doctor. Joan has boldly emerged from the shadows to shed light on VA, a condition which had once prevented her from enjoying life.

 

"For a long time I experienced symptoms of VA which made me very uncomfortable and prevented me from doing the things I love like swimming and cycling," said Joan. "Symptoms affected my relationships, especially with my husband, and my life was coming to a halt. I finally spoke to my doctor and that's the best decision I could have made."

Don't suffer in silence

If women don't bring it up, doctors might not ask.

only 7%

of women are aware of VA

Start talking VA!

Need help with how to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional?