August 30, 2019

Many women have questions about vaginal dryness what causes vaginal dryness. This condition, which often accompanies vaginal itching, is often associated with menopause. However, these uncomfortable symptoms can happen at any age for many different reasons. Here are some common causes and what you can do to prevent and treat them.

What Causes Vaginal Dryness and Itching?

Estrogen is a female hormone that helps lubricate the lining of the vagina to keep it thick and flexible. As estrogen levels fall with age, the lubrication decreases, resulting in vaginal dryness. Without adequate lubrication, sex can be painful (dyspareunia), and itching may occur.

The approach of menopause is the most common cause of falling estrogen levels, but it’s not the only one. All of these physical changes and stressors can cause a drop in estrogen.

  • Giving birth and nursing
  • Undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation
  • Taking certain prescription drugs that reduce estrogen levels to treat endometriosis and other conditions
  • Suffering from some autoimmune disorders that inflame the vagina
  • Consuming antihistamine medications that dry out vaginal tissue
  • Using some antidepressants that cause vaginal dryness

Smoking tends to bring about earlier menopause, so women with this habit may experience vaginal dryness earlier than other women.

What Are the Signs of Vaginal Dryness?

Besides the uncomfortable itching, women may also experience a burning sensation and irritation similar to those felt with a yeast infection. Dropping estrogen levels can also cause the opening of the vagina to tighten, and the vagina itself may narrow, making sex painful. These symptoms may occur along with hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, acne, fatigue, and other perimenopausal conditions.

How Is Vaginal Dryness Diagnosed?

If you experience burning, itching, pain with intercourse, or different types of vaginal discomfort, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible. A typical assessment includes a pelvic exam, medical history, and a discussion of your menstrual cycle. Your health care provider will want to rule out other potential causes, such as infection, by taking samples. While it may feel embarrassing or uncomfortable to discuss such personal matters with your doctor, it’s essential to take care of these symptoms right away.

How Is Vaginal Dryness Treated?

Your doctor may prescribe certain topical creams and medications to help treat vaginal dryness associated with menopause. To avoid the risks of traditional oral hormone replacement therapy, these treatments are often inserted directly into the vagina as a cream or tablet. You can also find several over the counter products at your local drugstore. Lubricants may be water or oil-based, or you may want to try a vaginal moisturizer.

However, it’s important to note that these are all short-term solutions. If you’re in search of a solution that doesn’t require daily or weekly medications, consider a different approach. For the latest in vaginal rejuvenation, consider the FemTouch by Lumenis procedure. A fractional laser helps restore the thickness of the vaginal tissue and may alleviate the symptoms. You may also see improvement in other areas, such as incontinence. Some women report more enjoyable sensations during sex after a FemTouch procedure.

If you’re interested in learning more about this and other procedures that may help you regain your vaginal health, contact the discreet and professional team at Adam and Eve Medical Aesthetics. We will be happy to answer your questions and assist you in making decisions that are best for your health. You don’t have to suffer in silence; you have options to restore your comfort and your enjoyment of intimate relations with your partner.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/SOPRADIT