The mucus membranes in your vagina are used to producing a generous amount of natural lubrication. Those membranes are dependent on the hormone estrogen, which sends signals for the liquid to be produced. However, around the time of menopause, a woman’s level of estrogen production declines.
As a result, she may experience physical side effects like vaginal dryness. Though not life-threatening, vaginal dryness is uncomfortable and can affect relationships as it can make sex painful and may deter a woman from being intimate with her partner.
For this reason, many women seek treatment for this and other menopause symptoms and often find their answer in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). To learn the ways that HRT can help vaginal dryness, continue reading this article.
How Does HRT Work?
The aim of HRT is to balance hormone levels, whose upset is triggering menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness. If a woman is suffering from vaginal dryness because of an estrogen deficiency, she may be prescribed estrogen replacement therapy. HRT can come in a number of forms including creams, gels, pills, injections, vaginal rings, and lubricants.
Are There Any Risks Associated With HRT?
There is unfortunately no magical and instant cure for vaginal dryness. Because hormone levels are so delicate, taking HRT can sometimes further disrupt hormone levels and actually cause the symptoms it is meant to treat! Also, prolonged use of HRT has been linked to an elevated risk of developing breast cancer and heart problems in postmenopause. It is important to consult a doctor about vaginal dryness and other symptoms to gauge their severity and determine whether or not the risks of HRT are worth the possible benefits.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are many available alternatives to HRT, though none have been scientifically proven as effective. However, herbs like black cohosh and evening primrose are far less risky than HRT. Most importantly, leading a healthy lifestyle consisting of a varied diet and regular exercise will help to balance hormones naturally.
More Information about HRT and Vaginal Dryness
Hormone balance is a complicated matter. Self-diagnosis and treatment are never encouraged: instead consult a doctor for a professional opinion. It is important to keep in mind that the symptoms of menopause are uncomfortable but treatable. To learn more about the different vaginal dryness treatments, visit this link.
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