All About Dry Vagina Syndrome

Written by Michael Wight
Dry Vaginal Syndrome

One of the most common complaints of older women is vaginal dryness. This normally occurs during menopause, and is actually more prevalent after the completion of menopause. It is not only older women who suffer from vaginal dryness, it can affect women of all ages. While this may seem like an minor irritation, for women who are suffering from dry vaginal syndrome, the lack of lubrication can have a devastating effect on their sexual life.

Causes of Dry Vaginal Syndrome

The vaginal walls are normally lined with a thin layer of lubrication. Along with this naturally protective layer of moisture, the female hormone estrogen is also responsible for maintaining the health of the vaginal walls. When estrogen production slows down, or decrease the walls can become less elastic and thinner. Moisture levels will also decline resulting in vaginal atrophy. Along with menopause, other conditions that can cause hormonal levels to drop can include,

  • Childbirth and breastfeeding. Both of these can result in hormonal imbalances, as a woman’s body begins to adjust estrogen and progesterone levels.
  • Radiation and chemotherapy can also result in dry vaginal syndrome as hormonal levels are disrupted by both the disease and the treatment.
  • Surgically removing the ovaries will cause estrogen production to dramatically decline.
  • Disorders of the immune system and even excess alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can all cause vaginal dryness.

Certain medications and a condition known as Sjogren’s syndrome are other, less common causes. Sjogren’s syndrome is when the healthy tissue in your body is attacked by your autoimmune system. One of the symptoms is vaginal dryness. Using feminine hygiene products that contain harsh chemicals and heavy perfumes can also upset the delicate ph balance in your vagina resulting in dryness and even irritation.

Symptoms of Dry Vagina Syndrome

Along with vaginal dryness, women can also experience itching or burning on or around the vaginal opening. Other symptoms can include soreness and light bleeding during intercourse, along with the urge to urinate frequently. Frequent urinary tract infections are also common symptoms associated with dry vagina syndrome.

Treatments for Dry Vagina Syndrome

The most effective treatment for vaginal dryness includes estrogen therapy. The most common form of therapy is the use of a topical estrogen cream or ointment. The estrogen can easily enter into your blood stream through the vagina, and it is often a lower and more controlled dosage. Other pluses to using a topical estrogen ointment include reducing the risk of developing urinary tract infections and vaginal estrogen cream will not interfere with a woman’s production of testosterone. This male hormone is important for maintaining a healthy sex life.

Other common types of estrogen therapy include either an estrogen tablet which is inserted into the vaginal opening or using a vaginal estrogen ring which releases a low and continual dose of estrogen for three months. There are also treatments that can be done at home to help relieve the discomfort and irritation of dry vagina syndrome.

  • Over the counter lotions and lubricants can help to relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness. They are available in a wide array of different scents and sensations, making it easy to find one that both you and your partner can enjoy. A water based lubricant works best, without causing any irritation.
  • It is not uncommon for women to experience vaginal dryness due to lack of sexual desire. This can be easily corrected by spending more time on sexual foreplay. In most instances, it takes a woman longer to fully become sexually aroused than a man. Spending more time making sure you are sexually stimulated can help prevent any problems with vaginal dryness.
  • Avoiding feminine hygiene products and bath soaps that are scented or contain irritating chemicals can help prevent vaginal dryness and can also help to prevent certain bacterial infections from developing. Hand lotions, vinegar and yogurt should never be used to treat vaginal dryness, and can even make the condition worse.

While dry vagina syndrome can affect women of all ages, it does not have to mean that your sex life needs to suffer. With proper treatment and avoiding products that contain harmful irritants, it is possible to keep your vaginal area healthy and well lubricated. If the dryness worsens or is accompanied by pain, a health care professional should be consulted.

Author

Contributor : Michael Wight (Consumer Health Digest)

This Article Has Been Published on June 4, 2014 and Last Modified on April 6, 2018

Michael is a full-time freelancer who contributes to different websites in the health and fitness niche. He loves to read and share his experiences with the online community. In his free time, he plays with his dog and plays music. Over the last few years, Michael has researched and written tons of articles on diet, exercise, weight-loss, nutrition, men's and women’s health. Before working with Consumer Health Digest, he authored content for a range of popular websites, including: Business 2 Community, Michael Words, and Marie Claire. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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