One of the more frustrating, painful, and often embarrassing menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness affects more than half of all women going through menopause. Nevertheless, avoiding vaginal dryness starts with understanding its causes to manage and treat symptoms.
Continue reading to learn more about if your vaginal dryness will ever disappear so that you can return to a sexually pleasurable lifestyle.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
As with most menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness is primarily due to the sharp drop in estrogen levels, causing the vaginal walls to atrophy and leading to burning, itching, and painful intercourse. Additionally, less blood, and by extension, less lubrication make their way into your pelvic organs.
Though menopause is the primary driver of vaginal dryness in older women, other factors, such as certain activities and stressors, can make the problem worse, including:
Douching. Cleansing your vagina with liquid can cause it to become dry and irritated as well as increase your risk of infection.
Emotional problems. Excessive stress, depression, and anxiety all work to interfere with sexual arousal, increasing the likelihood of vaginal dryness.
Medications. Many over-the-counter medications, especially cold and allergy pills containing decongestants, diminish moisture levels in your vagina and throughout your body.
Soaps, hand lotions, vinegar, etc. Many women seeking relief from vaginal dryness will attempt applying lotions and other products to the vagina. Though these methods can provide temporary relief, they often make the problem worse in the long term.
Will My Vaginal Dryness Ever Disappear?
Without a doubt, vaginal dryness will not disappear until you address the underlying cause. For menopausal women, this is hormonal imbalance.
To begin with, making certain lifestyle changes can be a good start to helping you relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness. For instance, optimize your diet with phytoestrogens - which are plant-based estrogenic compounds found in legumes, flaxseed, tofu, and more - in efforts to increase estrogen levels. Also, try to stimulate blood flow to the vagina with regular sexual stimulation, thus helping with natural lubrication.
For improved results, consider the use of natural herbal remedies proven to provide relief from menopause symptoms, including phytoestrogenic herbal supplements and hormone-regulating supplements. The latter can be considered safer for long-term use as they do not introduce outside hormones into the body.
Further vaginal dryness treatments can be encountered by clicking on the previous link. Although this symptom is uncomfortable, rest assured that it does not have to ruin sexual pleasure for the rest of your life.
- Healthdirect. (2017). Vaginal dryness. Retrieved January 21, 2019, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/vaginal-dryness
- Office on Women's Health. (2014). Douching. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/douching