One of the more frustrating, painful, and often embarrassing menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness affects more than 60% of all women going through menopause.
While avoiding vaginal dryness simply isn't possible for most women, understanding its causes can at least help you manage your symptoms. Continue reading to learn more about this menopausal symptom and what you can do to keep it under control.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
As with most menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness is primarily due to the sharp drop in estrogen levels during menopause. This causes your vaginal walls to atrophy. Additionally, less blood, and by extension, less lubrication makes its way into your pelvic organs, leading to unpleasant symptoms such as itching, burning, and painful intercourse.
Though menopause is the primary driver of vaginal dryness in most women, certain activities and stressors can make the problem worse, including:
Douching. Cleansing your vagina with liquid can cause it to become dry and irritated.
Emotional problems. Excessive stress, depression, and anxiety all work to prevent sexual arousal, increasing the likelihood of vaginal dryness.
Medications. Many over-the-counter medications, especially cold and allergy medications containing decongestants, diminish moisture levels in your vagina and throughout your body.
- Soaps, hand lotions, vinegar, etc. Many women seeking relief from vaginal dryness will attempt applying lotions and other products to their vaginas. Though these methods can provide temporary relief, they often make the problem worse in the long term.
Making certain lifestyle changes can help you to relieve many of the symptoms of vaginal dryness. Avoiding products that make your symptoms worse and taking time in your day for pleasurable activities to reduce stress are a good first step. If however, these methods prove ineffective, you may want to consider herbal remedies or prescription medications. It is best to discuss treatment options with your doctor before beginning any course of treatment. They will be able to help you choose the right product for relieving your symptoms.
Vaginal dryness during menopause is painful, but it doesn't have to take over your life. Understanding what causes your symptoms will allow you to find the best means of relief. Click on the following link for more information about vaginal dryness.