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vaginal dryness

What is vaginal dryness?
Symptoms
Risk factors
Estrogenic causes
Other hormonal causes
Other causes

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vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness cream

vaginal dryness skinThe discomfort caused by vaginal dryness will be experienced by nearly all women at some point in their lives. A dry vagina can leave one with an itching and burning sensation which completely takes the joy out of sex. Understandably, vaginal dryness is a leading factor in female sexual dysfunction and painful sexual intercourse. Despite this, there are several measures available to combat vaginal dryness, including the use of creams.

What are the causes of vaginal dryness?

Normally the female vagina produces a clear vaginal lubrication that assists in sexual penetration. The amount of lubrication produced (and whether the amount is sufficient) is a result of several different factors including:

• Frequency of sexual intercourse
• Diaphragms
• Antidepressants
• Antihistamines/decongestants
• Antibiotics
• Chemotherapy
• Radiation
• Allergens - these can include dyes and fragrances in toilet paper and laundry detergent
• Drying soaps
• Douches
• Tampons
• Condoms

Fact:
Over 80% of women suffer from vaginal dryness during perimenopause. For women who stop using HRT - the symptom of vaginal dryness can become even more difficult.

Despite this, there are several measures available to combat this symptom, including the use of creams for vaginal dryness. This can also occur when the ovaries are removed or at other stages of life. Estrogen, put simply, helps the vagina to thicken. Thus when estrogen decreases, the vagina thins and becomes less elastic, drier, and more fragile.

What are the treatment options for vaginal dryness? Can creams help?

Fact:
Irritants causing dryness may include soaps, detergents, bubble bath, douches, feminine sprays and other products with allergens, dyes and fragrances.

Whatever the severity, there is absolutely no reason why you should have to live with the symptoms of vaginal dryness. Women have several options in addressing the symptoms of vaginal dryness; creams are obviously one of them.

vaginal dryness hidrateThe first step however is in ensuring that you increase your water intake in order to adequately hydrate the body and avoid products that may increase the vaginal dryness and irritation. Regular sexual activity can also boost the body´s ability to produce vaginal moisture after menopause.

Water based creams and lubricants - If dryness is a problem during intercourse a lubricant can often increase vaginal comfort. Make sure to always use a lubricant that is water-based, soluble, and also slightly acidic to match the body´s normal fluids. The slight acidity helps to inhibit yeast growth. It is also advisable not to use petroleum based products.

Moisturizing creams - Though lubricants prove to be adequate for occasional dryness during sexual intercourse, vaginal creams are formulated to help improve the overall health of the vaginal tissues and moisturize the vagina over a longer period of time. Some creams contain phytoestrogens that help to naturally replenish declining estrogen levels as suffered during menopause. These creams are generally applied two or three times per week. Moisturizing creams should also contain the acidity necessary for the vagina to fight off infections.

In addition to these solutions there are other products that help to tackle the issue of hormonal imbalance directly and thus stop the source of the vaginal dryness. For more information about vaginal dryness treatments click here.

Other Related Articles:
Vaginal Dryness Help
Vaginal dryness in post menopausal women
Lubricants for vaginal dryness

Sources:
  • "Vaginal Dryness". Mayo Clinic Health Resource. 2007.
  • "Vulvovaginal Symptoms". The Changing Body: Menopause Handbook. www.menopause.org.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.