Dry lips, dry skin, dry mouth: a few common issues. However, have you ever suffered from vaginal dryness? Vaginal dryness is a common and noticeable problem in women. However, is vaginal dryness all psychological, or it indicates health issues? Not exactly. Vaginal dryness primarily occurs from low estrogen hormonal levels that maintain the lining of the vagina lubricated, thick, and flexible.
However, related to menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness in young women, still menstruating, is also noticeable. It can cause discomfort, itchiness, and painful sexual intercourse. Let’s find out, in this article, what causes vaginal dryness, the effect it has in your life, and how to treat it.
Vaginal dryness is a common but treatable issue. It can cause by both psychological of physical conditions.
In your cervix, at the neck of your womb, the glands produce natural lubrication. It keeps your vagina moist and flexible. This moisture gently slips through your vagina and keeps it clean by removing dead cells. The slightly acidic element of vaginal moisture keep your vagina healthy and protect it from several infections.
During intercourse, the two glands at the entrance of the vagina produce extra moisture. It helps you to have smooth, comfortable and enjoying sexual intercourse. This moisture also contributes to a caustic climate where sperm can survive.
As women age, vaginal walls become thin due to changed hormonal production. These thin walls result in low secretion and lubrication. As a result, you have a dry vagina. However, there are several reasons for your dry vagina, regardless of age, along with the age issue. Study shows that even before menopause, around 17% of women aged 18-50 encounter vaginal dryness during sex.
Hormonal imbalance or low production is one primary reason for dry vagina. However, it’s not the only reason.
Menopause is one crucial phase of every woman that draws the line in your menstruation. The average age of menopause is 45-51. After menopause, women usually notice various changes in their bodies.
The significant change after menopause is the No-production of female estrogen hormone by the ovaries. Reduced lubrication during sexual intercourse in your vagina is a primary symptom of low estrogen hormones in your body.
Without estrogen, the vulva and vagina’s skin and support tissue get thinner and less elastic. It leads to vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy. Approximately half of the total women after menopause encounter vaginal dryness, causing pain and discomfort. However, hormone therapy for menopause symptoms prevention is pretty effective in managing vaginal dryness too.
If you have a low level of estrogen, vaginal dryness can hit you before your menopause. Breastfeeding mothers usually have a low level of estrogen production. As a result, they may encounter dry vaginas.
In addition, women who, during a hysterectomy, have their ovaries removed may experience vaginal dryness, as their symptoms are similar to menopause. Even women, who need their ovaries removed, may also encounter vaginal dryness due to a drop in the hormonal level.
Chemotherapy is another reason for which women experience hormonal changes in their bodies, causing intense symptoms. Chemotherapy can often damage the ovaries and stop estrogen production. As a result, you face a thin vaginal lining with less lubrication in your vagina.
The long-term condition, Sjögren’s syndrome, is an autoimmune disease. In this condition, your body’s several glands become incapable of producing enough moisture. While a dry mouth and dry eyes are its primary symptoms, many women face vaginal dryness due to this life-long issue.
Certain medications such as allergy and cold medications and some antidepressants may cause dryness in mucous membranes, including vaginal tissues. In addition, contraception can also cause vaginal dryness.
Smoking is undoubtedly harmful to your help. But do you know smoking can also cause vaginal dryness? Researchers have found that cigarette smoking increases the risk of early menopause. This means that you can notice menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness at a pretty young age.
Soap, detergent, douches, lubricant, or hygiene products: many are allergic to these products that may cause vaginal dryness and irritation. Your vagina is self-cleaning; simply water is sufficient. Therefore, you do not need to use any internal wash, douches, or deodorants. Instead, they are harmful to your body that may lead to infections, inflammatory diseases, cervical cancer, and endometritis.
However, if you still want vaginal cleansing, use natural products or unperfumed soap.
You may face the following symptoms if you have vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy-
Vaginal dryness is a common condition that rarely causes any severe medical issue. However, seek medical attention if your discomfort and pain are unbearable during sexual intercourse and if the itching and soreness last long. If you don’t treat vaginal dryness in time, it can lead to sores or cracking in the vaginal tissues.
In addition, if you notice severe vaginal bleeding, seek medical attention ASAP. Women usually don’t feel comfortable sharing about vaginal dryness. But, talk to your doctor without hesitation for proper treatment.
At Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA, Dr. David Nazarian is a proficient and reliable physician rendering a relaxed and reassuring atmosphere to share your issue freely and comfortably. On his expert hand, you can get rid of your bothersome problem in no time.
If you are suffering from vaginal dryness, your doctor may examine the vaginal walls first to search for lacerations or thinning skin. They may also take vaginal discharge to check for any harmful bacterias. They may also perform a hormone test to detect perimenopause (menstrual transition) or menopause. There are various treatment options available. Depending on your condition, your provider will select the option best suited to you.
Suppose your dryness is due to a low estrogen level. In that case, your doctor may suggest a topical estrogen therapy in the form of a pill, cream, or ring. Creams and rings release estrogen directly to the tissues and are more effective. You need to replace the ring every three months. Pills are more effective for uncomfortable menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes. Local estrogen treatment is a risk-free and effective treatment for vaginal dryness due to low estrogen. It also helps you in subduing painful sex, improving vaginal pH, and regulating bacteria.
To avoid painful intercourse for less lubrication, you can use lubricants to increase vaginal moisture. Many over-the-counter lubricants are available that are helpful for vaginal dryness and the vagina’s pH. However, use lubricants specially made for the vagina. In addition, make sure the lubricant is water-based, excluding any perfume, artificial color, and herbal essence. These components may irritate your sensitive skin.
There are a few home remedies you can try to decrease your vaginal dryness.
Regular sexual activity, with or without a partner, can manage your vaginal dryness—the reason being during arousal, blood flow to the vaginal tissue stimulating moisture production. Blood flow to the vaginal tissues increases during arousal, and this helps stimulate moisture production. Take more time in foreplay. Adequate foreplay before intercourse gives the Bartholin’s gland time to produce enormous lubrication and make sex more pleasurable.
Your vagina carries a delicate balance of helpful bacteria. Moreover, it’s self-cleaning. So, you don’t need any soap or douching as they contain chemicals and fragrances that can irritate your skin.
Aloe vera is a friend to the skin, including your vagina. Take the freshly collected gel from the aloe vera leaf and mix it with 1 cup of water. It’s a tremendous natural vaginal wash that can reduce your vaginal dryness too.
Phytoestrogens are substances naturally found in plants with a similar chemical structure to estrogen in your body. One study suggested that consuming phytoestrogens can improve vaginal dryness. You can find phytoestrogens in soy, nuts, seeds, and tofu.
Is vaginal dryness all psychological, or it indicates health issues? Vaginal dryness is a common problem in women of all ages that primarily occurs due to low estrogen levels in your body. Rarely does it cause any severe medical condition; it can be discomforting, painful, and embarrassing. If you experience severe pain during intercourse, bleeding, or long-lasting vaginal itching, seek immediate medical attention.
Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA, is a convenient and trustworthy place ready to render you with their expert doctors and staff. Call today and schedule a day with Dr. Nazarian to treat your problem and feel yourself again.