In women aged 50 years and over attending the genitourinary medicine (GUM) department, the most typical presentation was with symptoms of vulval soreness, irritation, or dryness. Atrophic vulvovaginitis (AVV) was the most specific diagnosis made. This study was undertaken to determine if the presence of AVV was related to the use or not of systemic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

A prospective study was made of all women aged 50 years and over attending a GUM department over three months.

Of the 124 women seen in this age group, 60 (40%) had AVV, and 28 (23%) had vaginal candidiasis. No difference was found in current users or non-users of HRT.

The study concluded that accurate diagnosis is essential in women with vulvar symptoms to ensure that appropriate therapy is given. In the present study, symptomatic women aged 50 years and over were more likely to have AVV than candidiasis irrespective of their systemic HRT use. Further research is required to further explore Atrophic vulvovaginitis in women aged 50 years and above, both current and non-users of hormone replacement therapy, attending a genitourinary medicine clinic.