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Why Do Menopausal Women Get Vaginal Dryness?

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Texture close – up human skin with dermatological problems of dryness and cracking
Vaginal dryness is a common menopause symptom that unfortunately is discussed less frequently than other well-known symptoms such as hot flashes. Many women find they are ashamed of this issue, which can disrupt their sex life and make their daily life more uncomfortable. If you are struggling with vaginal dryness, it’s important to note that there are solutions at hand for this symptom of menopause. Today we’re going to take a look at why menopausal women get vaginal dryness and what you can do to avoid exasperating this issue.
What is Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness happens when your vagina’s tissues aren’t well lubricated or aren’t in a healthy condition. This commonly occurs during menopause and in older women, and there are various signs that you’ll notice which may indicate that you are struggling with this issue. Women often complain they feel discomfort during sex and may even experience light bleeding following intercourse. You may also find that you experience a burning or itching sensation during the day, and mild vaginal discharge may accompany the dryness.
Why Do Women Experience Vaginal Dryness?
The most common reason for women experiencing vaginal dryness is a decrease in their estrogen levels, which usually happens during menopause. Estrogen is needed to keep your vagina’s tissues well lubricated and healthy. You may also have experienced this issue earlier on in life, such as during childbirth or when breastfeeding. Medications and various medical treatments also result in vaginal dryness, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of discussing and receiving help for.
While your dropping estrogen levels are most likely the number one cause of vaginal dryness during menopause, you also want to avoid using any douches or products that may exasperate the issue. Some condoms and tampons also cause this problem, although this may not be an issue during this stage of your life. Products like these can disrupt the natural balance in your vagina due to the chemicals and ingredients found within them. If you are currently on medication, this could also be a leading cause of vaginal dryness, as some medications can dry out the vagina and reduce lubrication.
Treating Vaginal Dryness
The great news is that there are many ways in which you can treat vaginal dryness. Often, supplementation with proper doses of natural progesterone not only maintains libido but restores a healthy vagina. In some cases, the addition of low-dose estrogen (preferably by estriol applied intravaginally) may also be needed for vaginal dryness. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants are also available on the market today, which can help to minimize the vaginal dryness you are experiencing and make your daily life and sex more pleasurable. DHEA can also help with vaginal dryness.
“By a local action in the vagina, DHEA applied daily at doses at which serum steroids remain well within normal postmenopausal values exerts relatively potent beneficial effects on all four aspects of sexual dysfunction.”
Vaginal dryness is something that so many women go through during menopause, primarily due to the drop in estrogen levels. Contact our team today if you are experiencing this issue, and they’ll be happy to share the best solutions for your needs and to help minimize the discomfort you may be feeling.
Menopause. Sep-Oct 2009;16(5):923-31. Effect of intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (Prasterone) on libido and sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. Labrie F, Archer D, Bouchard C.
Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26725467/
“…DHEA through a strictly local action in agreement with the preclinical data showing that the androgens made locally from DHEA in the vagina induce an increase in local nerve density.”
Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2016 Mar;25(3):181-90. Effect of intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on the female sexual function in postmenopausal women: ERC-230 open-label study. Labrie F, Archer D, Bouchard C.