Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness can cause irritation, burning, and pain with intercourse, among other symptoms. While it's more common in menopausal women, vaginal dryness can occur at any age.


It's important to remember that vaginal dryness is a completely manageable condition and treatment can be life-changing for those with severe symptoms.

Symptoms

Vaginal dryness causes discomfort and pain in your vagina, especially during sex. A dry vagina may also cause:

  • Burning and itching

  • Irritation while sitting or walking

  • Bleeding after sex due to your vaginal wall tissues breaking open

  • Soreness in your vulva

  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) or yeast infections

  • Needing to pee more often


Causes

A handful of factors can affect vaginal dryness.

  • Hormones - Low levels of estrogen cause your vaginal walls to become thin and dry

  • Medication - Expect any medications that cause dry eyes and dry mouth to have a similar effect on the vagina

  • Avoiding consultation - Many times, women inadvertently worsen their symptoms by using multiple creams or other home treatments before seeing their provider


Treatment

  • Vaginal Lubricants - Applied at the time of sexual activity to alleviate pain during intercourse

  • Vaginal Mositurizers - Applied every few days to moisturize and keep vaginal tissues healthy

  • Low-dose estrogen cream, tablet or ring - Even if using systemic hormone therapy pills or patches, a low-dose vaginal estrogen treatment may be recommended if vaginal dryness and related symptoms persist.

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What to avoid

  • Feminine hygiene sprays and perfumes

  • Adult or baby wipes on the area

  • Bath soaps, lotions or gels that contain perfumes

  • Bubble baths, bath salts and scented oils

  • Hot water while bathing or showering

  • Tight-fitting clothing and pantyhose

  • Over-the-counter creams and ointments

While these recommendations can be helpful for many women, if symptoms persist despite these changes, your health care provider can suggest treatment options for vaginal dryness.