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Overview

Vaginal dryness is a symptom that affects many women of all ages at some time in their lives. A drop in hormone levels, breastfeeding, or the use of certain prescription drugs may all cause this discomfort. It is often associated with menopause. Treatment choices for vaginal dryness are often determined by the underlying etiology of the problem.

A dry vaginal area may be an indication of a number of different medical issues. When sitting, standing, exercising, urinating (peeing), or participating in sexual activity, it may cause pain.

Vaginal dryness during sex may cause pain, burning, and discomfort.

A thin coating of transparent fluid normally lubricates the vaginal walls. Estrogen assists in the retention of that fluid and aids in the maintenance of a healthy, thick, and elastic vaginal lining.

The quantity of moisture that may be accessed decreases when estrogen levels fall. It may strike at any age and is brought on by a variety of circumstances.

It may seem to be a slight irritation. The absence of vaginal moisture, on the other hand, may have a big impact on the sexual life. It may be relieved with a variety of therapies.

To alleviate dryness and pain, the vaginal region may be lubricated using a variety of over-the-counter lubricants. Utilizing lubricants and moisturizing lotions may help to alter the pH balance of the vaginal area, hence decreasing the chance of developing a UTI.

A doctor may prescribe estrogen medicine in the form of a pill, cream, or ring in specific circumstances. All of these products contain estrogen and work by releasing it.

By employing lotions and rings, you may deliver estrogen straight to the tissues. When menopausal symptoms are very aggravating, such as hot flashes, you are more likely to turn to medication.

If the illness continues, it is important to seek examination and treatment guidance from the doctor.

Causes

Vaginal dryness is a frequent symptom of menopause, affecting one out of every three women at some point throughout their lives.

The ovaries create estrogen, and estrogen is responsible for the development of feminine bodily traits such as breast size and form. It also plays an important part in the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.

Estrogen contributes to the thickening, moisturizing, and overall health of the tissues lining the vaginal opening. As levels drop, the lining gets thinner, drier, and less elastic as a result of shrinkage. This is termed as vaginal atrophy.

Estrogen levels may be reduced as a result of the following factors:

·         Childbirth and nursing

·         Radiation or chemotherapy

·         Ovaries surgical removal

·         Uterine fibroids

·         Endometriosis

·         Cigarette smoking

·         Depression

·         Stress

·         Rigorous exercise

·         cancer treatments like radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy

Certain medications may also aid in reducing the number of secretions generated by the body. Numerous creams and lotions used to treat the vaginal area may cause the vagina to become dry and irritated.

Some of the most common causes of vaginal dryness are listed below:

·         Sjögren’s syndrome causes inflammation of the salivary as well as tear glands. Women are more likely to have it than men and thus it may cause vaginal dryness.

·         Antihistamines that work by diluting secretions have side effects including vaginal dryness and urination problems.

·         antidepressants may also cause sexual adverse effects such as dry vaginal mucus, reduced libido, and trouble having an orgasm

·         Stress and worry may affect libido and vaginal lubrication.

·         Flammer syndrome is a condition in which the blood vessels respond abnormally to stimuli such as cold and stress.

Female smokers are more likely than non-smokers to reach menopause sooner, and as a result, vaginal dryness may occur at a younger age in this group.

When to see a doctor

If you have that pain persists for more than a few days or you have discomfort during sexual contact or physical activities, get medical help. If left untreated, vaginal dryness may lead to ulcers or cracks in the vaginal wall tissues.

If the vaginal dryness is accompanied by a lot of vaginal bleeding, itching and irritation, get medical help immediately.

During an examination, your doctor may feel for lacerations or thinner skin on the vaginal walls to rule out other problems. They may also acquire a sample of vaginal discharge in order to test for the presence of dangerous infections.

Women with a dry vagina may be ashamed to tell their physicians about their issues. This frequent condition, however, has a number of therapeutic choices. If your vaginal dryness is interfering with your everyday activities, sexual life, or relationship with your partner, see your doctor.