The Best Ways to Fix Vaginal Dryness

What to do when vaginal lubrication is a problem

Joyful mature female resting on senior man's shoulder
Abel Mitja Varela/E+/Getty Images

While vaginal dryness can occur at any time during your adult life, most cases of vaginal dryness occur during perimenopause and menopause. Your body produces reduced amounts of estrogen during menopause, which accounts for the majority of vaginal dryness encountered by women. 

Signs that may indicate that you are experiencing vaginal dryness include:

Other causes of vaginal dryness include certain medications, using tampons with absorbency ratings higher than you actually need, vaginal douching, nicotine dependence, excessive alcohol consumption, and Sjogren's Syndrome. Mental health issues, like anxiety, can also cause vaginal dryness. If you are breastfeeding or have recently given birth, your estrogen levels may be lower than average, which can also cause dryness. Scented soaps, bubble baths, and body lotions used in the vaginal area may also increase vaginal dryness.

If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, you do not need to suffer. There are many prescription and non-prescription treatments that can help either the underlying cause (low-estrogen related to menopause) or temporarily increase moisture during particularly dry spells. 

Prescription Medication for Vaginal Dryness 

If you are suffering from chronic vaginal dryness related to perimenopause or menopause, speak to your doctor about trying a prescription medication designed to increase estrogen production.

Treatments for vaginal dryness caused by reduced estrogen levels include:

  • Estring. Estring is a vaginal ring that you or your doctor insert into your vagina. Estring slowly releases estrogen directly into the vaginal tissues. The vaginal ring effectively treats vaginal dryness for 3 months.
  • Vagifem. Vagifem is a vaginal tablet that you insert into your vagina using a disposable applicator. You will need to insert the vaginal tablet once daily for two weeks, and then twice weekly for as long as you need it.
  • Premarin or Estrace. While the oral pill form of Premarin and Estrace are most frequently prescribed; they both are available in vaginal cream formulas. Your doctor will advise you on how to use vaginal estrogen creams should this be the treatment of choice for vaginal dryness.

Vaginal estrogens provide the most effective relief of vaginal dryness. Women who use vaginal estrogens also experience significantly fewer recurrent urinary tract infections.

Over the Counter and Alternative Treatments 

If your vaginal dryness is caused by non-menopause related issues, or you wish to avoid prescription medications, other treatment options for vaginal dryness include:

  • Vaginal Moisturizers - Vaginal moisturizers include over-the-counter products such as Replens. Replens is a once-daily vaginal suppository used to increase vaginal lubrication.
  • Vaginal Lubricants - Vaginal lubricants include over-the-counter products such as Astroglide and K-Y Jelly. When vaginal dryness is a problem during sexual intercourse, vaginal lubricants provide the necessary vaginal lubrication to make sexual intercourse more comfortable.

    Always choose a water-based vaginal lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based product such as Vaseline for vaginal lubrication, doing so can create a breeding ground for infection. If you are having protected sex using a condom, make sure you are using water-based or silicone-based lubricant. Other lubricants and oils, like coconut oil, will degrade the condom. 

    Source:

    Menopause and hormone therapy (HT): collaborative decision-making and management.

    Continue Reading