What is Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause, as well as hormonal changes linked to the contraceptive pill, breastfeeding and cancer treatments. Changes in hormone levels can impact the amount of natural lubricant your body makes.
Naturally, the vaginal walls produce a clear liquid to remain lubricated. Oestrogen plays a big part in managing the level of fluid being created. The lubricant keeps the vagina’s walls healthy and elasticated.
Vaginal dryness is a condition that will affect most women at some point during their life, but there are several products available to buy over the counter, without the need to seek medical attention. If these prove ineffective, you should see your health professional for alternative treatment.
Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness
Generally, the main symptoms of female dryness are feeling sore or itchy around and inside your vagina. It can also cause you to keep contracting urinary tract infections, which can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Needing to urinate more often than usual is a common sign of a urinary tract infection, which can also be a symptom of vaginal dryness.
Many women report that their vaginal dryness has a significant impact on their sex life too, making it painful or uncomfortable to have intercourse. The above symptoms may also make you less inclined to want to have sex for fear of suffering pain and discomfort during or after intercourse.
There are a variety of ways to treat dryness, some of which you can try yourself before visiting a doctor. For instance, water-based lubricants applied to both the vagina and penis can reduce irritation.
Unperfumed soaps are recommended to be used around your vagina. It is not advised to use soaps or washes specifically for your vagina, as these can change the natural pH levels and bacteria.
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
Natural lubrication is produced by glands in the cervix and at the top of the womb. The fluid helps to keeps the inside of the vagina flexible and moist. The lubricant also helps to keep the vagina healthy and clean by moving down and removing any dead cells. The fluid has a low acidity level, which can kill any unwanted bacteria and prevent infection.
Vaginal dryness isn’t only experienced by those going through menopause. Many women younger than the 50+ menopausal threshold experience dryness in their day to day life. During sex, it may be because they haven’t been sexually aroused enough before intercourse, or stress is reducing their ability to produce enough fluid.
Certain medications can also have an impact on the vagina’s ability to produce lubricant. For instance, some allergy, cold or anti-depressants can interfere with the moisture levels in the vagina. Women who have low levels of oestrogen due to hysterectomy, cancer treatment or breastfeeding are also at risk of vaginal dryness.
Vaginal Dryness Diagnosis
Vaginal dryness is a condition that can easily be diagnosed by your GP. Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Vaginal dryness is affecting your daily life or your sex life
- You have any unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding
- You have unexplained bleeding after sex or in between your periods
- You have tried some products to ease the problem and they have not worked after a few weeks
You may need medical help to relieve the condition if any of the above applies to you.
Vaginal Dryness Treatment
Vaginal dryness is experienced as a natural menopausal symptom by 1 in 3 women. However, there are ways you can try and avoid vaginal dryness in daily life. One big tip is to simply stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps to keep all cells in the body hydrated, including the vagina.
If it is particularly affecting your sex life, focus on more foreplay before intercourse as this may encourage vaginal lubricant.
Many women use vaginal moisturisers which are put inside the vagina to keep it moist, helping to alleviate their symptoms. Popular dryness creams are Vagisil medicated cream and Vagisan moist cream. These products can help to instantly soothe itchiness or burning when applied.
If you find it painful to have sex, it may be beneficial to use a water-based lubricant.
Another solution is oestrogen treatment. Local oestrogen can come as small tablets or vaginal rings. By increasing the level of oestrogen, the body then readjusts and begins to produce the correct amount of fluid to line the walls of the vagina. This is not the same as HRT treatment, as the oestrogen is local. However, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) treatments can also help treat vaginal dryness as they too have oestrogen. This restores the hormone balance in your body and helps to relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
If your dryness is beginning to interfere with your everyday life, you should visit your doctor. Although it can be daunting for some people as it is an intimate subject, the trip will be worth it. Your doctor may be able to advise you to use a different course of treatment for your vaginal dryness which may work much more effectively.
Order vaginal dryness treatments online at Medicine Direct with free postage and packaging. Our UK based pharmacy stocks a range of different treatments to relieve female dryness. If you place your order before 2pm, you can even benefit from free next day delivery.
Vaginal Dryness Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prevent Vaginal Dryness?
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This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.
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