Over 60% of menopausal women develop vaginal dryness, with varying severity. Symptoms include itching, painful intercourse, and a burning sensation in the vagina. However, there are some treatment options.
Drink more water
A necessity when you want to overcome vaginal dryness. Drink eight glasses of water a day so that the body stays hydrated.
Avoid excessive amounts of coffee and alcohol
Try to reduce alcohol consumption, as it causes dehydration. Coffee should only be consumed in small quantities because it interferes with the amount of estrogen in the body, which in turn has a negative effect on the moisture levels in the vagina.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a variety of food is vital for rebalancing hormone levels. Cholesterol produces estrogen, which is essential for natural lubrication. Choose healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, and try to introduce more soy and flaxseed into your diet.
Smoking reduces the level of estrogen in your body, so try to quit or cut back.
Change your household products
Avoid using oil-based products, bubble baths, soaps, and hand creams: many of their chemicals or perfumes can cause irritation. Also check the type of laundry detergent you use to see if it may be causing further irritation.
Use lubrication during sex
Using an over-the-counter lubrication moistens the vagina and makes sex more enjoyable. Make sure you reapply the lubrication during intercourse if needed to avoid unnecessary friction.
Engage in more foreplay
Allow the body time to prepare for intercourse by indulging in more foreplay with your partner. This gives the mucus glands time to increase vaginal lubrication.
De-stressing allows the body time to rejuvenate and rebalance hormone levels. Additionally, if you're stressed, your body is less likely to respond to sexual contact. Have a long bath and clear your mind.
Douching increases dryness in the vagina. Avoid this practice at all costs.
There are plenty of good vaginal moisturizers to choose from. If you're experiencing itching, or a burning sensation in the vagina, use a moisturizer to relieve the discomfort. Only use products specifically intended for vaginal use.
More Information about Vaginal Dryness
Don't be embarrassed to seek treatment or to speak to your doctor about your problems. Click here for more information about available treatments for vaginal dryness.
- "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.