The condition is most common among for older women, but can affect women of any age. It is also known as atrophic vaginitis and is asymptomatic in some cases but can also present as:
- Pain or discomfort during sex
- Abnormal discharge
- Burning, itching or pain during normal activities like walking or exercise
Vaginal dryness may be accompanied by other symptoms that come with menopause, like hot flashes and mood swings. However, there are a variety of vaginal dryness remedies that women can choose from.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
The thinning of the vagina walls is typically the primary cause of vaginal dryness. This thinning is the result of a decrease in the production of the female sex hormone, estrogen; during menopause the body produces less of it. As the vaginal walls become thinner, they also become drier and less elastic, which makes them susceptible to inflammation.
Estrogen is also important for the production of natural lubrication. Aside from internal hormonal factors, there are other potential causes of the condition including:
- Certain feminine hygiene products, particularly if they are not pH-balanced
- Chemicals used in swimming-pool water
- Some laundry detergents
- Not eating foods that help with the metabolism of estrogen
- Consuming foods that have a diuretic effect
- Certain medications can cause dryness or affect hormones, which in turn can cause dryness
Dealing with these problems may be able to relieve dryness in some instances, but for more serious cases vaginal dryness remedies will have to be found.
Vaginal Dryness Remedies
Cultural taboos often prevent women from discussing this topic openly, and therefore many suffer, unaware that they have options when it comes to dealing with vaginal dryness. Those options include:
* Hormone replacement therapy, which has proven effective in treating various symptoms of low estrogen including vaginal dryness. Hormones administered either orally or via transdermal patches and sprays have been shown to greatly diminish or eliminate many symptoms of menopause.
Unfortunately, this therapy comes with significant downsides including a higher risk for a variety of serious illnesses including endometrial cancer and heart disease.
* Vaginal estrogen, which is applied directly to the vagina. This type of estrogen comes in the form of creams, vaginal tablets and a flexible plastic ring that is worn internally. These medications contain low doses of estrogen which is absorbed into the bloodstream via the vagina.
The dosages are small therefore the risks associated with orally administered hormones are greatly reduced. The potential downside of vaginally administered estrogen concerns women with a family history of breast cancer. Experts are unsure as to whether or not it increases the risk of these women developing the disease.
*The use of feminine moisturizers such as Her Solution Gel. These moisturizers help vaginal tissues to retain moisture and since they do not contain hormones, have none of the side effects associated with hormone replacement therapy or the low-dose methods.
Her Solution Gel is not a lubricant, but rather an all-natural restorative product that is formulated to rejuvenate vaginal tissues with safe ingredients. The use of moisturizers that are not intended for the vaginal area should be avoided as they can irritate delicate tissues rather than provide relief.
Women have a variety of vaginal dryness remedies available. It is important to gain an understanding of the risks and benefits associated with each in order to make an informed decision.