Vaginal Dryness: An Overview
Vaginal dryness can happen to women of any age group. But, the problem is more common in women after menopause. The walls of the vagina are coated with a thin layer of moisture. The moisture provides the feasible environment that is required for the sperm to travel. The vaginal moisture and secretions are also responsible for lubrication during intercourse.
As a woman ages, her body goes through hormonal changes which leads the vaginal walls to get thinner and the moisture secretion to get lesser and lesser. This leads to vaginal dryness. Although hormonal change is the most common cause of vaginal dryness, there are several other factors too which causes the vagina to get dry.
Important things to know about vaginal dryness
- Vaginal dryness can have psychological and emotional impact on the woman as well as the partner.
- A happy and healthy sex life can also be achieved with artificial lubrication.
- Vaginal lubrication is associated with the level of estrogen hormone on the body.
Causes of vaginal dryness
A number of factors can lead to vaginal dryness. Here are the common causes:
Change in hormones
Decrease in the levels of estrogen is the most common cause of vaginal dryness. This happens mainly during menopause, after childbirth, and during the breastfeeding stage. Estrogen helps in keeping the vagina moist and maintaining the thickness of the vaginal lining. In short, the vagina depends on estrogen for health and lubrication.
Medications for cold, asthma and allergy can have a drying effect inside the body. This can in turn lead to vaginal dryness in many women.
Vaginal dryness is both physical as well as psychological. Factors like stress and anxiety can often interfere in the person’s sexual desire and lead to vaginal dryness. Research states that when a woman is anxious or tense, there isn’t enough blood flow, and hence vaginal dryness occurs.
Not everything that looks and smells good is healthy for the vagina. The chemicals in the soaps and and hygiene products may often irritate the pH balance of the vagina which may further cause vaginal dryness. Many women report suffering from vaginal dryness after using scented soaps and wash products. (Also Read: Bedroom Nightmares – Why Can’t I Get Wet?)
Symptoms of vaginal dryness
How can you know if the dryness of your vagina is momentary or are you suffering from vaginal dryness? Here are a few symptoms that can help you understand your situation better. If you have vaginal dryness, you are likely to experience the following symptoms:
Loss of lubrication during sex – Lack of lubrication is a very common phenomenon after menopause and this can lead to painful sex. The thinning of the vaginal wall can worsen the condition further. If there is a lack of lubrication,if gentle friction during intercourse can cause pain and discomfort in both the partners.
Pain and burning sensation – If you have vaginal dryness, you might feel a sensation of burn an dpian down there while walking, sitting, or doing any workouts. Vaginal dryness can cause imbalance in your everyday life. This can have a detrimental effect in the quality of life of both the partners.
Emotional impact – Are you feeling an emotional disconnect from your partner because all is not well down there? Vaginal dryness can make a woman feel ashamed, uncomfortable and also throw a sense of within her. The sudden drift from the partner can be very disturbing and may lead the woman to lose sexual as well as self-confidence.
Change in vaginal discharge – Many women report change in their vaginal discharge when they suffer from vaginal dryness. The vaginal discharge tends to become more watery, the color often changes, and the discharge also becomes smelly. The condition is also accompanied with irritation and burning feelings in the vagina.
How to treat vaginal dryness?
Local estrogen – Vaginal dryness can be treated with the help of local estrogen. These are found in the form of small tablets which can be inserted in the vagina. Other forms of local vaginal estrogen include vaginal gels, creams and ointments. Local estrogen can also be applied in the form of vaginal rings. Vaginal dryness responds well to local estrogen treatments and hence the discomfort is quite minimal.
Surgical Treatment – Vaginal dryness can also be treated with the new innovative form of laser treatment. In this process, a fractional CO2 Laser Technology is used to generate heat through laser beams and stimulate the collagen in the vaginal tissue by restoring the strength and elasticity. The process increases the blood flow and thus enhances the lubrication.
Vaginal dryness is a very common problem and affects more than half the women globally. The condition is painful and can cause side effects more than just discomfort during sex. Vaginal dryness can be treated easily if approached to the right gynecologist.
Make a list of what you want to discuss with the gynecologist and take note of what the gynecologist tells you to follow. Do not be ashamed to discuss the issues that are bothering you. With the right treatment and the right doctor, you can regain your happy and healthy vagina in no time.