Vaginal Burning Specialist

Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE -  - Vaginal Rejuvenation Center


Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE

Vaginal Rejuvenation Center located in Seattle, WA

Vaginal burning is a symptom most women experience at some point in their lives. For as common as it is, though, the sensation is often a cause for concern — it may be a sign that you have a urinary tract infection, a yeast infection, or even a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). For menopausal women, vaginal burning is often an indication of vaginal atrophy, a common problem caused by declining estrogen levels. At RENUvaGYN in Seattle, board-certified gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su specializes in diagnosing and treating women’s reproductive health issues, including vaginal burning. Call or book your appointment online today.

Vaginal Burning Q & A

What Causes Vaginal Burning?

Vaginal burning, whether it appears by itself or is accompanied by itching, pain, or general discomfort, can be caused by a wide range of underlying problems.

Although sudden, persistent vagina burning that doesn’t go away or worsens with time can usually be traced to some type of infection, for many women, the problem is a side effect of menopause.

Some of the most common causes of vaginal burning are:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Vaginitis, or vaginal inflammation
  • Yeast infection (a type of vaginitis)
  • STD infection, such as chlamydia
  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Allergic reaction to scented tampons, pads, or soaps
  • Ongoing irritation, like tight clothes or bike riding

Can Menopause Cause Vaginal Burning?

The hormonal changes that define menopause can give rise to a range of vaginal and urinary symptoms that are often interrelated or occur at the same time. This means that menopausal women who experience vaginal burning typically have a handful of other symptoms, too, depending on the exact nature of their underlying issue.

Some of the most common reasons that women experience vaginal burning during or after menopause are:

  • Chronic UTIs: Lower estrogen levels make menopausal women more prone to a range of urinary problems, including urinary incontinence and chronic UTIs. If you have a sudden urge to urinate, but nothing comes out, or if you experience a burning sensation in your vagina when you go to the bathroom, you may have a UTI.
  • Vaginal Atrophy: Also known as atrophic vaginitis, vaginal atrophy occurs when the tissues that line your vaginal canal become thinner, drier, more fragile, and inflamed as a result of declining estrogen levels.

How is Vaginal Burning Treated?

Because of its many potential causes, treating vaginal burning requires an accurate diagnosis. After discussing your symptoms and medical history, Dr. Dunsmoor-Su will perform a comprehensive physical, including a pelvic exam.

If you have a simple UTI without any underlying hormonal issues, an antibiotic may be all that’s needed to fix the problem. If it’s determined that your soap or laundry detergent is irritating your vaginal tissues, you may have to switch them out for plain, unscented products.

For women who experience chronic or recurrent vaginal burning that appears to be related to menopause or declining reproductive hormone levels, Dr. Dunsmoor-Su can often address the problem in three safe and easy treatments, using MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy.  

MonaLisa Touch uses state-of-the-art fractional CO2 laser technology to revitalize vaginal tissues, restoring elasticity and the ability to produce moisture.

In addition to being a safe and effective way to relieve vaginal burning, MonaLisa Touch can help address:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful intercourse
  • Frequent infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Chronic UTIs