Is Vaginal Dryness Common After Menopause?

Womanhood is a journey that comes with many ups and downs. Menopause marks a significant transition and brings about a lot of changes. While hot flashes and night sweats often arrive first, many women experience vaginal dryness after menopause too. This decrease in moisture leads to discomfort, irritation, and even pain during intimacy. If you are one of those who are seeking a solution, this blog is the right piece of reading for you.

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    What Causes Vaginal Dryness After Menopause?

    Vaginal dryness is often caused because of decreased estrogen levels that is common during and after menopause. This decline leads to vaginal atrophy, where the tissues become thinner, lose their elasticity, and become prone to dryness and irritation.

    Other than that, factors such as breastfeeding, taking certain medications, and medical conditions like breast cancer or endometriosis can also contribute to estrogen level deviation.

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    Is Vaginal Dryness A Common Issue Post-Menopause?

    Vaginal dryness is a common issue especially after menopause and occurs due to a decrease in the said hormone. This decrease changes the features of the vaginal wall leading to dryness and discomfort during sex.

    Some of the common symptoms include burning urination, pain during sex, and vaginal soreness. Over-the-counter moisturizers and lubricants are available that can combat the pain, while hormonal treatments such as using creams, tablets, or rings deliver targeted estrogen doses to address dryness and sometimes additional menopausal symptoms.

    If symptoms still make life unbearable even after two months of self-care, consult a women’s specialist. Always remember, vaginal dryness can increase the risk of developing UTI and can significantly impact intimacy, so addressing it effectively is important for your overall well-being.

    Treatment Options

    Vaginal dryness is a common consequence of menopause and can be effectively managed with various approaches. Some of the options include:

    Hormonal Treatments

    • Topical Estrogen Therapy: They are applied directly to the vaginal canal (creams, tablets, rings). They are meant to help the muscles regain moisture and elasticity with minimal systemic effects.
    • Systemic Estrogen Therapy: Taken orally or via a patch, this option caters to dryness alongside other menopausal symptoms. However, it poses a higher risk of side effects.

    Non-Hormonal Solutions

    • Water-Based Lubricants: They are easy to find and gentle on the body. These lubricants are a good source of temporary relief during intercourse.
    • Vaginal Moisturizers: Mimicking natural moisture, these products offer long-lasting comfort and can be used regularly.
    • Natural Oils (Must be Used with Caution): You can get your hands on olive, coconut, or mineral oil for gliding effect. They might offer some relief, but can damage condoms and potentially irritate the vagina.
    • Topical Lidocaine (Consult Doctor First): This medication numbs the area and makes it unresponsive to pain triggers during sex. However, you need a doctor’s guidance due to potential side effects.

    Lifestyle Habits:

    • Hydration: Keep up with the water levels in your body by drinking plenty of clear liquid to keep the vaginal tissues well-moisturized.
    • Avoiding Irritants: Steer clear of harsh soaps, douches, and tight-fitting clothing that can disrupt vaginal pH and health.
    • Cotton Underwear: Wear breathable cotton underwear for better air circulation and lessen irritation.
    • Regular Sexual Activity: Sexual stimulation can naturally increase lubrication over time.

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    Closing Note

    If you have more questions regarding vaginal dryness during menopause, get in touch with our expert, Dr. Munira Dudhbhai, MD, FACOG, certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Lewisville Women’s Care. We always prioritize open communication, so consider us just a call away to help you with your gynecological health management. Call us at (972) 956-8008 to schedule an appointment today.

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