Menopause: what to do for vaginal dryness?

Now that you are in menopause, you are experiencing body changes like vaginal dryness: does it need to be treated or it will stop by itself? There are temporary solutions, there are background vaginal dryness treatments. Let’s recap, shall we?

Vaginal dryness only during the menopause or ?

Vaginal dryness causes range from physiological factors, such as hormonal changes or medication side effects, to emotional and psychological issues like a lack of desire or even anxiety. Fortunately, no matter the cause, there is a vaginal dryness treatment.

But the most important is to talk about it with the objective of finding out the source of the discomfort.

What causes vaginal dryness  during menopause?

Vaginal dryness is a very common symptom in menopausal women. Vaginal mucus – sensitive to the dip in hormonal estrogen secretions - will progressively thin and lose its elasticity notably due to a decline in levels of collagen and fatty tissue. Vaginal dryness increases over the years, and results in burning, irritation, pain during sex or infections. It also contributes to urinary problems.

In spite of 25% to 50% of women experiencing these vaginal dryness symptoms and their negative effects on the quality of life and sexual function, women remain reticent to seek their doctor’s advice1.

25 to 50% of women experience vaginal dryness symptoms during menopause

There are different vaginal dryness treatments: if a hormonal treatment is prescribed, it will help with vaginal dryness. Local treatments based on estradiol, like vaginal ovules, rings or creams are effective. If an estrogen treatment isn’t wanted or advised, lubricants and vaginal hydrators can reduce vaginal dryness symptoms temporarily. Recently there has been use of Vitamin E to improve vaginal dryness. However, these local vaginal dryness treatments are temporary solutions and no longer have an eff  when the patient stops using them.

Vaginal dryness is a common and frustrating condition, but there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. If a lack of lubrication is causing painful sex, be sure to talk to your doctor about all possible treatments.

Key elements to remember about vaginal dryness

  • Truth: vaginal dryness is a menopause classic
  • Tips: lubricants, vaginal hydrators are your best friends if you use them on a daily-basis and long term.

 

SOURCE:

1. Pastore LM, Carter RA, Hulka BS, Wells E. Self-reported urogenital symptoms in postmenopausal women: Women’s Health initiative. Maturitas. 2004; 49(4):292-303.

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