Things You Should Know About Vaginal Dryness
A drop in the estrogen levels is the primary reason why women have an itchy vagina. Here are some ways which can help you deal with the irritable condition.
Vaginal dryness can have a huge impact on your sexual life
- Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause
- Douching can lead to vaginal dryness
- Estrogen therapy helps in dealing with low or no estrogen production
A drop in estrogen levels in the body is a major reason why women have a dry vagina. A common symptom of menopause, vaginal dryness occurs because of lack of estrogen hormone, which helps in maintaining the fluid that covers the walls of the vagina. Physically, there are many changes that a woman's body undergoes during menopause, including having a deeper voice, more facial hair and mood swings. 1 in every 3 women experience vaginal dryness after menopause. Childbirth, breastfeeding, chemotherapy and removal of ovaries surgically are other reasons for vaginal dryness among women.
Other reasons for vaginal dryness
Other reasons for vaginal dryness include douching, not engaging in enough foreplay before sex and Sjogren's syndrome, which is an autoimmune disorder that damages moisture producing cells in the body.
Along with causing irritation, discomfort, itching and burning sensation, vaginal dryness can have a huge impact on your sexual life.
Also read: 6 Strange Facts About The Vagina Every Woman Should Know
How can you diagnose vaginal dryness?
When one feels any of the above symptoms, it is probably time to see your gynaecologist. He/she will check for the duration of these symptoms through a pelvic exam, which will check for any thinning or redness in the vagina. This exam will help in diagnosing if the said symptoms are because of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or vaginal dryness.
Treatment for vaginal dryness
An estrogen therapy is the most common treatment for vaginal dryness. This therapy involves the use of topical estrogen, which is used as a replacement for the hormone which is no longer been made by the body.
Also read: Dos And Don'ts Of Vaginal Hygiene All Women Must Know
There are 3 kinds of vaginal estrogen therapy:
- Vaginal estrogen cream (Estrace, Premarin)
This treatment involves insertion cream inside the vagina with the help of an applicator. The cream is applied every day for a few weeks until the condition becomes better. The process can come down to once or twice in a week. This will be according to the suggestions of your gynaecologist.
- Vaginal estrogen ring (Estring)
As part of this treatment, the doctor inserts a soft and flexible ring into the vagina. This ring releases a stream of estrogen into the vaginal tissues. The ring needs a replacement in every 3 months.
- Vaginal estrogen tablet (Vagifem)
In this treatment, a disposable applicator is used to put a table inside the vagina. This is done every day during the first 2 weeks of the treatment. When the lubrication inside the vagina improves, it can be inserted twice a week after that.
Also read: 5 Common Causes For An Itchy Vagina
However, you need to keep in mind that introducing estrogen in the body like this can have several side effects, including bleeding in the vagina and pain in the breasts.
Experts suggest that women who experience bleeding in the vagina which goes undiagnosed; women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; women who have had endometrial cancer in the past; and women who have breast cancer should not use topical estrogen.
For others, topical estrogen has been considered safe to use.
Here are a few other ways which can help in keeping your vagina lubricated:
- Use vaginal moisturisers that are available in supermarkets.
- Water-based lubricants can go a long way in improving your sexual experience.
- Make sure that you give enough time to foreplay and are in a calm and peaceful state of mind while having sex.
- Avoid using scented soaps, bubble baths and lotions in and around the vagina as they can further trigger vaginal dryness.