For most women vaginal dryness is a difficult and embarrassing topic to talk about. However, a better understanding of this symptom can help to deal with it in a more efficient way.
Who can experience Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness is experienced by over an estimated 80% of perimenopausal women; while as many as 50% of postmenopausal women suffer from this condition. Furthermore, vaginal dryness primarily affects women between 40 – 65 years of age, but it can affect any woman regardless of her age. As your body produces less estrogen during menopause, your vaginal walls become thin and less lubricated.
What can causes vaginal Dryness?
- Declining estrogen levels. The most common cause of vaginal dryness is decreased estrogen production. Other factors include reduced muscle tone and the longer time needed for sexual arousal that is so common in perimenopause.
- Since estrogen plays a vital role in keeping vagina moist and flexible, the decrease in estrogen levels causes the decrease in lubrication. As a result, vaginal walls become thin and sensitive. Moreover, with less lubrication, low acid levels can lead to a higher risk of infections.
- Emotional issues. If you are depressed or under tremendous stress, it can contribute to this condition too. Dryness and lack of arousal can also be a signal of unresolved problems in a relationship.
How would I know if I have vaginal dryness?
- Itching is one of the most common symptoms of vaginal dryness.
- Painful intercourse is another frequent discomfort. It can be accompanied sometimes by bleeding or spotting after sex because vagina becomes extremely dry and fragile without normal mucus production.
- Urinary incontinence may also occur because of the decreased estrogen level. It causes weakness of the vaginal walls leading to your body’s inability to control urine from escaping unwillingly.
- About 40% of menopausal women experience yeast and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Natural solutions for vaginal dryness
- Stay hydrated. If you’re chronically dehydrated, your body is going to have a hard time staying lubricated. Coffee and alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you, too. So, drink plenty of pure water!
- Choose gentle hygeine products. Try pH-balanced soaps that do not include antibiotics or chemical deodorants. Don’t use douches or perfumed feminine hygeine sprays, and avoid the use of drying soaps and bubble baths.
- Eating a balanced diet including an appropriate amount of healthy fats will support your overall health and make sure your body is making as much estrogen as it can. Also make sure to eliminate simple sugars and food that you are sensitive to from your diet.
- Herbs in the form of oils and salves can be applied directly to the vaginal tissues to soothe and heal irritation. Calendula and Comfrey salves are particularly helpful for vaginal dryness.
- Homeopathic medicine helps many women by very individual gentle holistic approach
- Some women also find that vitamin E helps to heal irritated vaginal tissues.
- To protect delicate vaginal tissues, stay away from anything that tends to dry the mucous membranes, including harsh soaps, bubble baths, douches, and feminine-hygiene sprays.
- Some medications, like antihistamines, deplete the body tissues of fluids
- To prevent vaginal irritation, wear natural-fiber clothing, which allows air to circulate and decreases the risk of vaginal infection.