Vaginal dryness is a classNameic sign of menopause knocking on the door of your reproductive life. Though it has other causes, premature menopause, perimenopause, and menopause are the primary reasons for the vagina feeling droughty. So, are you experiencing vaginal dryness and looking for ways to manage this condition? Well! You have taken the first right step by clicking on this blog. Now continue reading to understand the problem and know some helpful tips to manage it.

What is menopause, and why does it occur?

Menopause is when a woman no longer menstruates because of aging-related natural depletion of ovarian oocytes. Missing periods consecutively for a year is the typical characteristic that helps diagnose menopause. It marks the end of fertility permanently and affects women aged between 45-58. The average age of menopause is 51 years.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Menopause lowers estrogen and other reproductive hormones in the body. Consequently, one or more of the following symptoms occur:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Thinning of vaginal walls and loss of vaginal elasticity
  • Hot flushes or night sweats
  • Psychological changes
  • Low sex drive
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Frequent urinary tract infections

Vaginal dryness is one of the early symptoms of menopause and may also lead to itchiness, soreness, and pain during sex.

What causes menopausal vaginal dryness?

The female sex hormone estrogen helps maintain the vagina's lubrication, thickness, and elasticity. However, women's bodies start producing less estrogen when menopause approaches, causing dryness, thinning, and inflammation of the vaginal walls. This condition is also called vaginal atrophy.

How long does menopausal dryness last?

Vaginal dryness after menopause lasts as long as you do not seek treatment. Yes! It does not get better by itself. In fact, the symptoms of vaginal atrophy may worsen without treatment. It means your vagina may feel dry and itchy all the time, not just during sexual intercourse.

How do you fix vaginal dryness after menopause?

Treating vaginal dryness helps improve your sex life and the overall quality of life. Here are a few vaginal dryness treatment options that doctors recommend.

  • Vaginal lubricants: Lubricants supplement the vagina's natural moisture and help alleviate pain during sexual penetration. Apply a vaginal lubricant to your clitoris and vaginal walls just before sex. You may choose among water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based lubricants.
  • Vaginal moisturizers: They help keep the vagina moist all day. Unlike lubricants, these can be applied at any time of the day. Vaginal moisturizers are available as creams, suppositories, and gels. You may also use natural oils, such as coconut oil or Vitamin E oil to moisturize the vagina.
  • Topical low-dose estrogen products: These include vaginal rings, creams, and hormonal suppositories. They help revive vaginal tissues and promote natural lubrication after menopause. Your doctor may prescribe these even if you use systemic hormone patches or therapy pills.
  • Oral medications: Your doctor may prescribe selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) in the form of tablets.
    Note: Vaginal estrogen therapy and SERMs are not prescribed if you have had endometriosis or breast cancer (or are genetically susceptible to it).
  • Masturbation or regular sexual activity: Partnered sex or vaginal stimulation, with or without a partner, promotes blood flow to the vagina, strengthens vaginal tissues, and improves sex drive in women after menopause.

Vaginal dryness because of early menopause, post-menopause, or any other reason may interfere with your daily life. However, several effective treatment options are available to manage this condition and enjoy a healthy sexual life. Contact your gynecologist at the earliest if you are experiencing vaginal dryness and other signs of menopause.

Discover Solutions!