A layer of moisture keeps the vagina lining lubricated, thick and elastic to create an alkaline environment for the sperm to travel in for sexual reproduction. However, due to low estrogen levels, the vaginal walls start to thin, which leads to vaginal dryness.
Vaginal dryness is often associated with menopause. However, it can happen at any point in a woman’s life. It is an unpleasant situation as it can cause painful sexual intercourse, discomfort during sports, and risks of vaginal infections.
If you are suffering from vaginal dryness, there are various treatment options for you. However, consult with a womens care specialist first to determine the ideal solution.
Causes Of Vaginal Dryness
As a woman approaches menopause, the estrogen level decreases, which develops female body characteristics. When the estrogen level in your body falls, the tissues in your vaginal lining become thinner and drier. Thus, it results in vaginal dryness.
Menopause is not the only reason for lowering the estrogen level in your body. There are several reasons why estrogen levels can drop. They are as follows.
- Surgical removal of ovaries.
- Chemotherapy and radiation for treating cancer.
- Taking anti-estrogen pills for treating breast cancer or endometriosis.
- Consumption of antidepressants.
- Reduced blood supply to the vagina.
- Stress and anxiety.
- Sjögren’s syndrome (inflammation of salivary and tear glands).
- Flammer syndrome.
Treatment Of Vaginal Dryness
There are various treatment options for curing vaginal dryness. Some medications can be bought over the counter, while some may require a prescription. However, you can also try a few home remedies if you wish to avoid medications.
- Avoid strong perfumed soap near the vaginal area.
- Use lubricants and vaginal moisturizers.
Make sure that the lubricant is made especially for vaginal use only. The lubricant should be water-based and not contain artificial colors, harsh chemicals, or scents. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience irritation after using it.
You may also try estrogen therapy in the form of creams, pills, or a ring.
- Estrogen cream or ointment is applied directly to the vaginal area with the help of an applicator to relieve symptoms.
- An estrogen vaginal ring is inserted inside the vagina, releasing small amounts of estrogen into the tissues. It is suggested to replace this ring every 90 days.
- An estrogen vaginal pill or tablet is carefully placed inside the vagina with the help of an applicator.
Before deciding, make sure you consult with your doctor. If you are breastfeeding, have breast cancer, or are pregnant, topical estrogen therapy may not be suitable for you. It is best to take your doctor’s suggestion in such cases.