Vaginal Dryness During Menopause

Causes and Treatments For Vaginal Dryness

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If you’ve been experiencing vaginal dryness and you’re over 40, there is a good chance that approaching menopause or perimenopause may be the culprit. If so, rest assured that you are definitely not alone. Vaginal dryness is a common occurrence among women during the latter part of their reproductive lives.

Why is vaginal dryness so common during the menopausal years? The simple answer is that as menopause approaches and passes, estrogen levels decline significantly.

Lower levels of estrogen cause thinning of the vaginal lining, as well as less vaginal secretions. The frequent result of lower estrogen levels is vaginal dryness and vaginal itching.

The good news is that both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products can relieve vaginal dryness during menopause. You’ve probably seen the array of vaginal lubricants for sale at your local drug store. Because vaginal dryness often leads to painful sexual intercourse, a water-based vaginal lubricant often helps make sex more comfortable. Other products called vaginal moisturizers can help relieve general vaginal discomfort caused by vaginal dryness. If OTC products fail to provide adequate relief from vaginal dryness during menopause, your doctor may prescribe an estrogen product designed for use in the vagina such as a cream, tablet, or ring.

Sources:

Menopause and Menopause Treatments; Women’s Health.gov; http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/menopause-treatment.cfm; accessed 06/18/09.

Medline Encyclopedia; Vaginal Itching – Common Causes; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/003159.htm#Common%20Causes; accessed 06/11/09.

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