Vaginal dryness is a painful symptom that many women will encounter at some point in their lives. A decrease in hormone levels, breastfeeding, or certain medications can all cause this symptom.
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom during and after menopause, but it can happen at any age and for various reasons. Treatment options for vaginal dryness typically depend on the cause of the symptom.
Low estrogen levels are usually the cause of vaginal dryness. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for keeping the vaginal lining lubricated, thick, and elastic.
Vaginal dryness is a common problem, but many people do not seek treatment because they are unaware that it is a medical condition for which they can be treated.
It can cause pain during intercourse, which can contribute to a loss of sexual desire. It can also cause pain and discomfort during sports and other physical activities, as well as increase the risk of vaginal infections.
What is vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness can be a sign of a variety of medical conditions. It can cause pain while sitting, standing, exercising, urinating (peeing), and having sexual relations.
Dryness in the cervix can occur at any age. It is most common in women during or following menopause (the end of a woman’s monthly period). There are numerous effective treatments available.
What are the possible causes of vaginal dryness?
In many cases, women have vaginal dryness when estrogen hormone levels decrease. Treatments for other conditions can also cause this symptom. Vaginal dryness can result from:
- Breastfeeding and childbirth.
- Birth control pills.
- Cancer treatments include chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
- Medications include anti-estrogen medications (treating uterine fibroids or endometriosis), certain antidepressants, and antihistamines (treating itchy eyes and runny noses).
- Removal of the ovaries.
- Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder that can cause dryness throughout the body).
People with vaginal atrophy and vaginal dryness may experience:
- vaginal itching
- pain during sex
- discomfort during physical activity
- a higher risk of vaginal infections and urinary tract infections
If the dryness is due to a fall in estrogen levels, they may also have:
- lower levels of natural vaginal secretions
- a tightening of the vaginal opening
- a narrowing of the vagina
Together, these changes are known as dyspareunia. They can lead to pain during penetrative sex.
Vaginal dryness is diagnosed by a doctor based on your medical history and a physical exam. To determine the cause, your doctor will inquire about your symptoms as well as any medications you are currently taking.
A pelvic exam allows doctors to determine whether the vaginal tissue is thin and dry as a result of low estrogen levels. A blood test may be used by a doctor in some cases to check hormone levels. Blood tests can also reveal other medical conditions that may be causing vaginal dryness.
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How is vaginal dryness managed or treated?
There are several treatment options available if you have vaginal dryness. The treatment for this symptom will be determined by the underlying cause. Among the most common treatments for vaginal dryness are:
- Avoid strong or perfumed soaps or lotions near the vagina.
- Using estrogen or non-estrogen oral therapies.
- Using lubricants and vaginal moisturizers that provide short-term moisture.
- Using local estrogen or DHEA inserted directly into the vagina for long-term moisture.
There are also natural oils that can be used to treat vaginal dryness. You might try natural oils like grape seed, olive, sweet almond, sunflower, or coconut. A longer period of foreplay before intercourse is another option to consider. Arousal is linked to vaginal moisture. Discuss with your partner how you can increase these sensations outside of intercourse.
Women may be embarrassed to discuss a dry vaginal with their doctors. However, there are numerous treatment options for this common symptom. If vaginal dryness interferes with your daily activities or has an impact on your sex life or relationship with your partner, consult your doctor.
How to keep Vaginal Clean
Some tips listed below will help you with how to take care of your vagina.
- When taking a bath, squad down and wash the inside with your finger before cleaning it with water.
- If you have a vaginal odor, use warm water. When taking a bath, squad down and wash the inside with your finger before cleaning it with water.
- Make sure that you shave your private part regularly.
- Wash your vaginal after sex.
- Wearing inners to sleep is not advisable, make sure you remove them before going to bed.
- Eat a lot of yogurt and probiotics because your vagina needs good bacteria in it to stay healthy and ward off infections.
- While on period, make sure you change your pad regularly.
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