It’s estimated that 50% of women who’ve reached menopause suffer from symptoms of vaginal dryness, yet as few as 10% may seek treatment. Most live with the discomfort and pain that these symptoms create, affecting their sex lives and potentially leading to urinary tract problems.
Although vaginal dryness is a key indicator for the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), women of any age can suffer from the condition. Your symptoms may be temporary or permanent, but either way, there’s no reason to accept and live with it.
A visit to McDowell Mountain Gynecology in Scottsdale, Arizona can help you to better understand the nature of your symptoms as well as unlocking treatment options that can return your life to normal. Here are five ways you can manage vaginal dryness symptoms.
When dyspareunia — painful sex — is an issue, adding additional lubrication is sometimes all you need to sidestep your discomfort. The best choice is a water-based lubricant designed for sexual activity.
Lubricants that use glycerin can irritate the tissue of the vulva and vagina even more, while petroleum-based products can affect the performance of condoms, reducing their effectiveness at preventing pregnancy and the transmission of disease.
The obvious answer to dryness anywhere on your body is countering it with a moisturizer, and that can be effective here, too, as long as you use a product specifically designed for vaginal use. Moisturizers you use elsewhere on your body may contain scents and other ingredients that aggravate the dryness of your vaginal lining.
Low-dose estrogen delivered in the form of a cream, ring, or suppository tablet can help perk up vaginal tissue, particularly if your symptoms stem from the drop in estrogen levels that accompany menopause. Lower hormone levels can cause thinning and drying of the vaginal walls. Applying an estrogen supplement directly to the tissue can often counteract this deterioration of vaginal tissue.
Even if you’ve used the same soaps or other hygiene products successfully for years, it’s possible to develop a sensitivity to their ingredients. Your vagina is naturally self-cleaning, so there’s no need for douching or other aggressive cleaning, which can upset the delicate balance of pH and good bacteria.
While there are plenty of over-the-counter and natural treatments available, you need prescriptions for certain products. Visiting Rachel Spieldoch, MD, FACOG, Jennifer Kolle, PA-C, and our team at McDowell Mountain Gynecology also gives you access to years of experience as well as the full range of medical knowledge on care and management of vaginal dryness, including vaginal rejuvenation services.
Contact McDowell Mountain Gynecology by phone or online at the location most convenient to you. A simple examination and review of your symptoms and medical history may be all that’s necessary to identify an effective treatment. Don’t be one of the women who suffers in silence. Book your appointment today.