Vaginal Dryness- causes and treatments
Dr. Pradeep Vangala | August 04, 2020

Generally, vaginal walls are lubricated with a thin clear fluid. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for maintaining lubrication and normal thickness of the vaginal wall. Any reduction in the level of estrogen hampers this process leading to vaginal dryness. A Vaginal dryness is a common condition affecting many women during and after Awa. It significantly impacts the quality of life, daily activities, and sexual functions. Women experience emotional and physical distress, but, still is underreported or treated. It is essential to educate yourself about vaginal dryness and the range of available treatments for the same. Moisturizers or personal lubricants can effectively relieve the discomfort and pain caused during sexual intercourse for women. However, it is essential to choose the right product that is optimally balanced with the correct pH. According to studies, 15% premenopausal and 40 - 57% of post-menopausal women experience vaginal dryness (1). Lubricants can give long-term relief for these symptoms.

 

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining the vaginal environment. But, during menopause, estrogen level falls, leading to vaginal atrophy and inflammation of vaginal tissue. This leads to vaginal dryness.

Other causes include;

  • Advancing age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress
  • Systemic conditions like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and chronic heart disease
  • Antidepressant medications

When to Seek Medical Help

You should consider consulting a doctor if vaginal health is causing discomfort in daily life and painful intercourse. Vaginal dryness may lead to cracking of tissues and infection if left untreated. With etching, burning, and painful intercourse, vaginal dryness can become extremely uncomfortable. If you experience vaginal bleeding, seek medical help. There are several lubricants available that can ease your symptoms.

Treatment

Personal Lubricants

Personal lubricants and moisturizers are efficient in relieving the discomfort and pain during intercourse for women during vaginal dryness. Personal lubricants and moisturizers reduce the friction associated with thin and dry genital tissue. Various types of vaginal lubricants are available, water-based, plant-oil based, or all-natural, which can be applied to the vagina prior to sex. Water-based and natural lubricants are highly recommended.

Vaginal Estradiol

Estradiol vaginal gel allows the absorption of the hormone through the vagina.  It works by inhibiting symptoms, such as feelings of warmth in the face, neck, and chest. It also prevents sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating in women during menopause. It is generally used to treat changes in and around the vagina caused by low estrogen levels or menopause.

Online Consultation

Online consultation with a health professional can help you understand, which is a suitable treatment for you. A doctor can prescribe personal lubricants and moisturizers that meets your needs. If you are suffering from vaginal dryness and willing to get evaluated for treatment from a skilled doctor, click here. Our U.S. licensed physician will review your treatment request, follow up, and, if suitable, write a prescription.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is menopause associated with vaginal dryness?

During menopause, the estrogen level in your body decreases. As estrogen is needed for maintaining the vaginal environment, reduction in its level leads to thinning of vaginal wall and dryness. The natural lubrication of the vagina is lost during menopause.

2. How can I prevent vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness is a common problem faced by many women. To reduce its impact, avoid using chemicals, and perfumes around the intimate area. Use suitable lubricants during sex. Also, avoid using harsh soaps and scented toilet paper.

3. Can I use any type of moisturizer to deal with vaginal dryness?

It is advised to use products recommended for vaginal dryness. Chemicals present in some moisturizers can irritate your vaginal skin leading to infection. Consulting a doctor and using good quality vaginal lubricants can avoid any detrimental effects on your vaginal tissue.

4. Are vaginal lubricants and moisturizers the same thing?

Though vaginal lubricants and moisturizers are designed to serve the same problem, they are two different things. Vaginal moisturizers provide moisture around your vaginal are and can be used regularly. Moisturizer helps to avoid the discomfort associated with vaginal dryness. Vaginal lubricants are designed for use during sexual intercourse. It helps to avoid painful intercourse by lubricating your vagina.

5. Other than menopause, what other factors contribute to vaginal dryness?

It is believed that some medications, such as anti-depressants and contraceptive medications, can lead to vaginal dryness. Chemotherapy and some systemic medical conditions can also lead to vaginal dryness.

Conclusion

Vaginal dryness is an unpleasant condition that can impact your quality of life and relationships. There several treatment options available that can ease your condition. Discussing with a doctor can help you get the needed help. Also, seeking help can prevent the occurrence of vaginal dryness related complications.

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