Dryness of the vagina is a common symptom of menopause, but it can occur at any age and for many reasons.
Insufficient estrogen is a common cause of vaginal dryness. Vaginal elasticity, thickness, and lubrication are all maintained by estrogen. Many women experience vaginal dryness, but many of them don’t bother to seek help because they don’t realize it’s a medical problem.
Intimate discomfort can contribute to a decline in libido and s£xual interest. Further, it raises the risk of vaginal infections and can make sports and other physical activities uncomfortable.
Low estrogen levels are a common cause of vaginal dryness. With the onset of menopause comes a decrease in estrogen.
Estrogen, which is produced by the ovaries, regulates the growth of female physical traits like breast size and shape. The menstrual cycle and pregnancy both depend on it.
The vaginal lining is kept thick, moist, and healthy by estrogen. Reduced levels are accompanied by a thinning, drying, and loss of elasticity in the lining. Vaginal atrophy describes the thinning of the genital tissue.
Decreases in estrogen can occur for several reasons.
• removal of the ovaries through surgery (which can trigger menopause)
• breastfeeding and having a baby
• Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
• breast cancer and endometriosis treatment with anti-estrogen drugs
Vaginal dryness may also result from other factors, such as:
1. The autoimmune disease Sjögren’s syndrome, causes inflammation of the tear and salivary glands.
2. Second, taking antihistamines, reduces and alleviates cold symptoms. Vaginal dryness and urinary retention are two potential negative effects.
3. Antidepressants, which can cause sexual side effects like a dry vagina, low libido, and trouble ovulating.
4. Anxiety and stress can lower libido and cause dryness of the vaginal canal.
5. The vaginal blood supply is diminished.
6. Flammer syndrome, in which the blood vessels respond abnormally to environmental factors like cold and stress.
Women who smoke may enter menopause earlier than nonsmokers, leading to vaginal dryness at a younger age.
As a result of vaginal atrophy and dryness, a person may go through:
• symptoms of genital itch
• discomfort while making love
a rise in the probability of acquiring a vaginal or a urinary tract infection, and discomfort during physical activity.
If low estrogen levels are to blame for their dry skin, they might also be experiencing:
• naturally occurring fluid loss in the genital area
• a reduction in the vaginal opening
• vaginal constriction
When all of these symptoms come together, it’s called dyspareunia. They may cause discomfort during sexual penetration.
Vaginal dryness is a common health problem that affects many women. A doctor can recommend treatment to alleviate the discomfort.
People should seek medical attention if they notice any of the following symptoms or other changes in their vaginal health:
• intercourse discomfort
• The doctor will almost certainly:
• Inquire about any vaginal or other symptoms.
• inquire about menstrual changes
• perform a pelvic examination
Take a swab for a lab test in some cases.
There is no single test that can distinguish between vaginal atrophy and vaginal dryness. A doctor’s diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms.
It may feel awkward and embarrassing to discuss such personal information, but doctors are used to having these types of conversations. Seeking help is the first step toward symptom management.
There are several treatment options for vaginal dryness. Some are available without a prescription, while others require one.
Cream containing estrogen
Topical estrogen therapy, a medication in the form of a cream or ointment that can be applied directly to the vaginal area to relieve symptoms, is one option.
When compared to taking estrogen as a pill, a person using a topical cream absorbs less estrogen. As a result, the risk of adverse effects is minimal.
Topical estrogen therapies include the following:
1. The vaginal ring (Estring). A flexible ring is inserted into the vagina, where it continuously releases low levels of estrogen into the tissues. The ring should be replaced every 90 days.
2. genital cream (Estrace, Premarin). The cream can be applied to the vagina using an applicator. When compared to a placebo, estrogen cream is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for vaginal atrophy and dryness, according to a Trusted Source.
3. Female vaginal tablet (Vagifem). A tablet will be placed into the vagina using an applicator.
There has been little research into the long-term effects of topical estrogen, but it appears to be safer than oral hormone replacement therapy.
Females with a history of breast cancer, who are or may be pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should discuss the safety of topical estrogen therapy with their doctor. Instead, the doctor may suggest non-hormonal treatments.
Over-the-counter treatments for vaginal dryness may be beneficial.
For example, lubricants can be used to increase moisture during intercourse. Water-based lubricants may be preferred over oil-based lubricants because oil-based lubricants can cause irritation and condom breakage.
Vaginal moisturizers can also be used every 1 to 2 days to help maintain the natural moisture of the vagina. They are available to buy online.
Several lifestyle changes can aid in the treatment of vaginal dryness and discomfort.
Regular s£xual activity, whether alone or with a partner, can aid in vaginal dryness management.
During arousal, blood flow to the vaginal tissues increases, which stimulates moisture production.
Adequate foreplay and arousal before sex can help overcome vaginal dryness and improve the enjoyment of sex.
Some hygiene products should be avoided.
Much personal hygiene and body care products contain fragrances and dyes that can irritate or dry out the vaginal tissue.
The vagina is self-cleaning and contains a delicate balance of good bacteria. There is no need to touch the sensitive vaginal area or use fragrant soaps.
Supplements containing phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. They can be found in plant-based foods such as soy, nuts, seeds, and tofu.
According to one study, consuming phytoestrogens may help with vaginal dryness and hot flashes during menopause. However, the evidence is limited, and additional research is required.
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom that is frequently associated with a drop in estrogen levels, including at the onset of menopause. It is unlikely to have serious health consequences, but it can cause discomfort.
One low-risk treatment is topical estrogen cream. Mild symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter remedies such as vaginal moisturizers and the use of lubricants during sexual activity.