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Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a telltale symptom of vaginal atrophy. After menopause, the skin around the vulva and vagina can become thin, dry, irritated, or itchy. As a result, you may experience discomfort, painful sex, or even frequent UTIs. Learn about the many ways to treat vaginal dryness and protect your future vaginal health.

Vaginal dryness and menopause

The hormone estrogen helps provide moisture and elasticity to the skin in the vaginal area. But this abruptly changes when estrogen declines after menopause. You may initially notice irritation or discomfort, but with time vaginal dryness can worsen and impact your sexual wellness, quality of life, and overall health.

Your questions about vaginal dryness answered

  • Why does vaginal lubrication decrease after menopause?

    The decrease in vaginal lubrication is primarily caused by declining estrogen levels. Estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining vaginal lubrication, and as estrogen levels decrease during perimenopause and menopause, a decrease in vaginal lubrication becomes noticeable. The medical term for this is vaginal atrophy or the genitourinary syndrome of menopause.

    Vaginal lubrication may also be affected by various other factors, including stress, the anticipation of discomfort during sexual activity, fatigue, certain medications, and insufficient stimulation.

  • What is the solution?

    Many women will find that over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers and lubricants do not adequately resolve the problem. The exciting part? You can restore natural vaginal lubrication and moisture with localized vaginal estrogen. It's a targeted prescription treatment that restores moisture and healthy blood flow to the vaginal tissues. In fact, you may find that you don't need additional lubricants or moisturizers anymore.

  • Will natural vaginal lubrication ever return?

    Yes. Vaginal estrogen can help restore your body’s ability to produce lubrication again. You can notice improvements in vaginal moisture in two weeks. By the time you reach the four to six-week mark, you can expect improved comfort during sexual activity. After three months, you should experience the full benefits.

  • Will vaginal dryness get better on its own?

    No. It will probably get worse the further you are from menopause. However, taking proactive steps to address it sooner rather than later can lead to improved comfort and well-being.

  • When should I seek medical advice?

    If you find yourself facing disruption to your health or quality of life, reaching out to a healthcare professional to get help with vaginal dryness is a positive step you can take.

    Sharing both your physical symptoms and how they may be affecting your daily comfort, relationships, health, or sexual anjoyment can empower your medical provider to offer tailored guidance. This may include suggestions for over-the-counter remedies or appropriate prescription treatments, all aimed at addressing your personal concerns.

Want to know more?

  • Vaginal itching: Explore the connection between menopause and vaginal itching. And, if you're doing research or looking for solutions, take our quiz to learn more about treatment options.
  • Painful sex: Vaginal dryness can impact your overall health, quality of life, and sexual wellness. Explore treatment options that can help you have enjoyable and pain-free sex for years to come.
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