Vaginal atrophy is caused by a drop in estrogen levels. This most often occurs during menopause. In normal conditions, the vaginal wall is elastic and thick, and its lining is ridged and lubricated. In vaginal atrophy, the vagina wall shrinks, and its lining becomes pale, smooth, and dry.
Review Date 7/13/2021
Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.