Dealing with vaginal dryness
Vaginal dryness usually occurs in older women especially after menopause, although women of any age can get it. Vaginal dryness may seem like a minor irritation however lack of vaginal moisture can have a huge impact on your sex life.
What causes vaginal dryness
It is caused by reduced levels of estrogen. This female hormone keeps the vaginal tissues healthy by maintaining normal vaginal lubrication, acidity and tissues elasticity. Other causes of vaginal dryness include the following :
- child birth
- cancer treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy
- surgical removal of the ovaries
- anti estrogen medications used to treat endometriosis and uterine fibroids
- Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder that attacks cells in the body that produce moisture)
- allergy and cold medications and certain antidepressants
- not enough fore play before intercourse
- nicotine dependence
Vaginal dryness can be uncomfortable. It can also lead to itching, burning and painful intercourse.
How to manage vaginal dryness
These tips may help you deal with vaginal dryness.
- use a water based lubricant during intercourse
- try using vaginal moisturizer to help keep the vagina stay moisturized
- dont use anything that can be irritating such as deodorants, lotions, perfumes and douches
- you can try different sex positions to ease the pain
- ask your doctor about low-dose vaginal estrogen cream or Estring (a plastic ring filled with estrogen that is inserted into the vagina). These can help thicken and lubricate the walls of the vagina. However some of the estrogen is absorbed through the vaginal walls into the bloodstream.
Vaginal Dryness: Causes and Moisturizing Treatments. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginal-dryness-causes-moisturizing-treatments?page=2. Accessed April 4, 2016
Vaginal dryness. Mayo Foundation. http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/vaginal-dryness/basics/definition/sym-20151520. Accessed April 4, 2016