Vaginal dryness is a condition that occurs when the vaginal tissues are not well lubricated. This is a prevalent problem among women in and after menopause since it appears mainly due to a decrease in estrogen levels. However, it is also possible that it occurs at younger ages. It is a very annoying condition that, in addition to causing vaginal itching, burning and irritation, can cause pain during sexual intercourse and, consequently, a significant decrease in sexual desire. In addition, the absence or reduction of vaginal discharge leaves the vaginal area exposed to numerous bacterial and fungal infections that can compromise your good health.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the causes and treatments of vaginal dryness and mention some of the most effective natural remedies to alleviate its symptoms.
Table of Contents
Causes of vaginal dryness
The leading and most common cause of vaginal dryness is the hormonal changes that a woman’s body experiences at specific stages of her life, such as menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. In general, these hormonal alterations are associated with a decrease in the levels of estrogens and progesterone, hormones that help keep the vagina well moisturized and lubricated. However, when they decrease, the vaginal tissue tends to shrink and become thinner, which consequently causes inflammation and dryness. Genital dryness is a common symptom in postmenopausal women since, in this stage, estrogen levels tend to decrease considerably and cause other symptoms in addition to this, such as hot flashes, sweats, reduced bone mass, urinary incontinence, weight gain, etc.
However, vaginal dryness is a symptom that can also appear or be aggravated due to other factors, such as those listed below:
- I took some medications, such as antidepressants, certain antihistamines, drugs used for breast, ovarian or uterine cancer, infertility, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids.
- Severe stress or depression.
- Use of intimate soaps, vaginal deodorants, perfumes, vaginal douches that are aggressive and irritate the genital area.
- Radiation therapy treatment in the pelvic region.
- Chemotherapy treatment.
- Surgical intervention to remove the ovaries.
Symptoms associated with vaginal dryness
This lack of female lubrication and the decrease or absence of vaginal discharge can lead to the suffering of other symptoms. Among the most common symptoms of vaginal dryness are the following:
- They were burning during urination.
- Vaginal itching, irritation, and pain.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
- Light bleeding after sexual intercourse.
In addition to the above, vaginal dryness can increase the risk of contracting certain vaginal infections caused by fungi or bacteria since vaginal discharge is the liquid responsible for keeping the vagina protected against these microorganisms—likewise, the risk of presenting ulcers or fissures in the vaginal walls increases.
Treatments for vaginal dryness
Given the symptoms of vaginal dryness above, it is advisable to go to the gynecologist to undergo a review and identify the cause of the problem. The specialist will examine the pelvic region to check if the vaginal walls have narrowed, are reddish, or pale, and, in addition, an analysis of vaginal discharge or hormonal levels can be carried out.
There are different treatments for vaginal dryness that your doctor can recommend, and among the most common and effective are the following:
- Moisturizing creams and lubricants: applied to the vagina to keep the vaginal opening and line moisturized for a few hours.
- Using a water-based lubricant during sexual intercourse increases the lubrication and moisture of the vagina and prevents pain or discomfort during intercourse.
- Estrogen treatments: Drugs available in cream, ring, suppositories, or tablets that release estrogen into the vagina.
In addition to the above treatments, there are specific recommendations and lifestyle habits that women with vaginal dryness should also take into account to help alleviate the symptoms caused by the lack of natural lubrication in the vagina and not to aggravate this condition:
- Avoid soaps, perfumes, deodorants, and vaginal douches that are irritating to the intimate area.
- Increase your everyday water consumption, try to drink at least between 1.5 and 2 liters a day, and ingest other healthy liquids, such as natural juices or infusions. This will keep the genital area better moisturized and avoid excessive vaginal dryness.
- Avoid bad habits, such as smoking or excessive intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Include foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, beta-carotene, and phytoestrogens in the daily diet, since these nutrients are good in case of vaginal dryness.
- Combat stress by performing relaxation techniques.
- During sexual intercourse, it is essential to prolong foreplay to increase the lubrication of the vagina and prepare it for later intercourse.
Home remedies for vaginal dryness
Apart from the treatments for vaginal dryness that we have mentioned in the previous section, you should know that some natural remedies can help you fight this condition and reduce the symptoms it causes. Some of the most effective are:
- Chamomile: It has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help reduce vaginal irritation and itching. It is best to prepare an infusion of chamomile and take sitz baths.
- Aloe vera: It is a great natural moisturizer, so it reduces dryness and balances the pH of the vagina. You can apply a little aloe vera gel in the vaginal area.
- Tea tree oil is moisturizing and helps prevent vaginal infections from bacteria or fungi. Pour about three drops of the oil on a cotton pad and apply it to the outside of the vagina by tapping gently.
- Calendula: it is antibacterial and helps protect the vagina from possible infections. Prepare an infusion with calendula flowers and perform sitz baths.
Discover many more options by consulting the article Home remedies for vaginal dryness.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Vaginal dryness: causes and treatments, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.