Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness occurs during menopause.  Due to decrease in the production of hormone estrogen the tissue lining the vagina becomes thin and tight resulting in reduced flexibility and dryness.  It becomes less lubricated and is more prone to injury.  This condition is not painful or accompanied by any severe symptoms but vaginal dryness leads to decreased libido which can affect sexual relationship.  Condition of vaginal dryness is usually not reported due to embarrassment and accepted as a natural body change but there are remedies available to treat vaginal dryness.

What are the causes?

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What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of vaginal dryness are,

  • Pain and bleeding during sexual activity
  • Vaginal dryness or burning
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Burning or urgency with urination
  • Watery vaginal discharge and leakage of urine while coughing
What tests will be required for diagnosis?

You don’t need any special test for making diagnosis of vaginal dryness, since diagnosis is based on your symptoms.

What are the treatment options available?

There are several remedies available to treat vaginal dryness and restore moisture of which the most effective is hormone replacement therapy.  Estrogen supplements are prescribed to restore the reduced amount of estrogen and restoring moisture.

  • Systemic estrogen: Estrogen supplements are available in pill, patch or cream form. Intake of Estrogen supplement does help in coping with menopausal symptoms.
  • Local estrogen: If vaginal dryness is the only symptom you are suffering from, then local methods can be used such as a tablet, cream or a ring which can be directly placed into the vagina.
  • The hormone therapy is not entirely without risks and taking medical advice is advisable. If hormonal therapy does not suit you or you are not keen to use it, then there are some non-hormonal remedies which can be helpful.
  • Vaginal lubricants: Vaginal lubricants can be effective, especially for sexual activities. Lubricants are either water-based or silicone-based.  Using a water-based lubricant can prevent infection and silicone-based are longer lasting.
  • Vaginal moisturizers: Vaginal lubricants used in conjunction with vaginal moisturizers give better efficacy. Vaginal moisturizers are longer lasting and regular use of these products can work wonders in decreasing symptoms.
  • Pelvic Floor Exercises: Doing exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles like pelvic floor exercises and Pilates also make the genital area strong. These exercises also help in dealing with urinary incontinence.