During menopause your body goes through lots of changes. Most commonly they are triggered by the hormonal imbalances that occur during this time. Hormones play a vital role in your body because they help regulate many of its functions by working as chemical messengers.
When one part of your body wants to communicate with another, it releases hormones. It's this system that lets you know when you're hungry, tired, or in pain. When hormone levels drop during menopause, the side effects are known as menopause symptoms. One of most commonly experienced is vaginal dryness. Although this symptom can make tampon use harder, it is still possible. Read on to learn more about what causes vaginal dryness.
What Is Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness experienced during menopause is often caused by reduced levels of estrogen. This is because the hormone is vital to regulating your menstrual cycle and the body's fluid and sodium retention. Therefore, when your estrogen levels drop, so to do the fluid levels in your body. This causes a reduction in natural vaginal lubrication.
Because of the reduction of fluid levels your vagina can lose elasticity and softness and trigger constant itching or pain. Some women might also become more susceptible to infection. Vaginal dryness and the painful sex it can lead to might also cause a reduction in libido and consequent self-esteem and anxiety issues. Experiencing vaginal dryness can be very uncomfortable and even using tampons can be painful. Read on to learn about tampon safety when experiencing vaginal dryness.
Your Vaginal Dryness and You
Although vaginal dryness can be distressing, there are ways of dealing with it. If you find that vaginal dryness makes it difficult to insert tampons, try lubricating either the tampon or your vagina. You could also try using pads or alternating between the two methods. When using a tampon always ensure you change it regularly and remove it once your period has finished.
As you may become more susceptible to infection when experiencing vaginal dryness, maintaining good hygiene level is very important. Any lubrication method you attempt must also be colorless and scentless. Opt for water-based products because oil-based lubricants are not as easily dissolved in the body.
- "Vaginal Dryness". Mayo Clinic Health Resource. 2007
- "Vulvovaginal Symptoms". The Changing Body: Menopause Handbook. www.menopause.org
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003