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What Is the Relationship between Estrogen and Vaginal Dryness?

The primary cause of vaginal dryness is low estrogen levels. In addition to all of its other functions in the female reproductive system, estrogen aids the vagina by keeping its walls moist and elastic. It is also responsible for producing certain acids that maintain the pH balance of the vagina, which protects against infection.

What Happens When Estrogen Levels Decline?

What Is the Relationship between Estrogen and Vaginal Dryness?

When a woman's estrogen levels fluctuate and then decrease during menopause, it is common for the vaginal tissue to become thin and weak. This is called vaginal atrophy. Decreased estrogen levels also decrease the amount of natural lubrication the vagina produces during sex, which can make sex uncomfortable and painful.

Are There Any Other Possible Reasons for Vaginal Dryness?

Although this is a common menopause symptom, there are other conditions that can cause vaginal dryness. Childbirth and breastfeeding, which both have a great impact on your hormone levels, can also lead to vaginal dryness.

What Is the Relationship between Estrogen and Vaginal Dryness?

You may also want to check out your medicine cabinet to find the culprit. Antidepressants can cause some women to experience vaginal dryness. Even some over-the-counter medicines, such as for cold and allergy relief, can cause this condition. In the event that you are undergoing treatment for a more serious condition, such as breast cancer, you may be prescribed anti-estrogen medicine to suppress the growth of new breast tissue. This can also have a side effect on your vaginal tissue.

Lack of arousal can also cause vaginal dryness. Try talking to your partner about what your find arousing, increasing foreplay, and using a vibrator. This can help increase blood flow to the vagina, which stimulates the secretion of vaginal lubricant.

What Can I Do to Avoid Vaginal Dryness?

You may not be able to avoid vaginal dryness completely, but there are some steps you can take to reduce its impact on your life. Try using a vaginal lubricant or a vaginal moisturizer. A vaginal lubricant is used before and during sex and is applied to the genitals in order to reduce friction during sex. Lubricant is not absorbed into the body.

What Is the Relationship between Estrogen and Vaginal Dryness?

Vaginal moisturizer is applied to the vagina on a regular basis and is absorbed into the vagina. This helps increase the moisture level in the vagina over time. Vaginal moisturizer can also come with hormone replacement therapy. This is a prescription that comes in several different forms, and when applied to the vagina, is an effective way to reduce vaginal dryness.

Don't use harsh washcloths or soaps that can dry out the skin. Stay away from douches, because they can upset the pH balance of the vagina. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so you do not need to do anything other than rinse it with water occasionally.

More Information about Estrogen and Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is one of the main symptoms of menopause and can cause general discomfort, itching, and pain during sex. This is often the result of lower estrogen levels during menopause. However, there are ways to effectively reduce vaginal dryness, including vaginal lubricants, vaginal moisturizers, and hormone replacement therapy. Click on the following link to learn more about vaginal dryness and how to manage it.

Vaginal Dryness in Post Menopausal Women

Vaginal dryness frequently plagues postmenopausal women and can cause painful sex. Click here to learn what causes it and how it can be treated.

Vaginal Dryness Creams

The discomfort caused by vaginal dryness will be experienced by nearly all women at some point in their lives. Keep reading to know more.

Vaginal Dryness Remedies

Vaginal dryness is the loss of the moist and soft feel that usually characterizes the lining of the vagina, but it can be remedied.

Sources:
  • Bachmann, G.A. & Nevadunsky, N.S. (2000). Diagnosis and Treatment of Atrophic Vaginitis. American Family Physician, 61, 3090-3096. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0515/p3090.html
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013). Vaginal Atrophy. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-atrophy/basics/definition/con-20025768