Vaginal dryness happens when the tissues of the vagina are not well lubricated and healthy. It may happen at any age but is especially common in elder women. Vaginal dryness may result in pain or discomfort in sexual intercourse. The condition can also cause bacterial or yeast infections
- Soreness, itching, or burning in and around your vagina
- Pain and discomfort during intercourse
- Slight bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Mild vaginal discharge
- want to urinate more often than normal
- Frequent UTIs
The most common cause of vaginal dryness is a decrease in estrogen levels. Estrogen is a hormone that keeps the tissues of your vagina lubricated.
Certain other factors that can cause a drop in estrogen levels are:
- Menopause or perimenopause
- contraceptive pills
- womb removal ( hysterectomy)
- Some immune disorders
- Cancer treatments
- Anti-estrogen medications
You may also get vaginal dryness if you:
- aren’t aroused during sex
- have any underlying condition, like diabetes or Sjögren’s syndrome
- use scented soaps, washes or douches in and around your vagina
- In vaginal dryness, your doctor may carry out a pelvic exam to find out whether your vaginal walls are thin, pale, or red.
- Tests are done to check your hormone levels to find out if you’re going through menopause.
- Your doctor can also test your vaginal discharge to determine the other causes of dryness.
Treatments for vaginal dryness are generally based on the cause of your condition. Treatment options include:
- You may apply lubricants and creams to moisten the vaginal area for quite a few hours or up to a whole day.
- You may also apply a water-soluble vaginal lubricant at the time of intercourse to help with dryness.
- Topical estrogen may improve symptoms of vaginal dryness. It’s available in the form of a tablet, suppository, cream or ring that’s placed straight into the vagina.
- Stay away from using deodorants and scented products in and around your vaginal area
- During sexual activity, enjoy additional foreplay so your body has longer to create its own natural lubricant
- Inquire your doctor about estrogen treatments.
- Apply an intimate moisturizer or gel often to soothe vaginal dryness.
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