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.
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
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
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.
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.