The vaginal wall is covered by a thin lubricating layer of moisture. This coat provides an alkaline environment that sperm can endure in and move in for sexual reproduction. Normal vaginal secretions also lubricate the vaginal wall, decreasing friction during intercourse. With age, changes in estrogen production can make the vaginal walls thin and lead to fewer cells to secrete moisture. This can lead to vaginal dryness. Although the most common cause of vaginal dryness is hormonal changes, they are not the only cause.
Vaginal dryness can cause distress in the pelvic and vaginal regions. It can also cause burning, loss of interest in sex, pain with sexual intercourse, bleeding following intercourse, soreness, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and vaginal itching or stinging. Vaginal dryness can be a source of discomfort. This may stop women from discussing symptoms with their physician or partner; nevertheless, the condition is a common occurrence that affects many women.
Declining estrogen levels are the leading cause of vaginal dryness. Women begin to produce less estrogen with age. However, menopause isn’t the only state that causes a decrease in estrogen production. Other causes include:
- cigarette smoking
- unnecessary stress
- immune system disorders, such as Sjögren syndrome
- Hard exercise
- Cancer treatments
- surgical removal of the ovaries
- Some medicines can also decrease secretions in the body.
Many over-the-counter lubricants can be used in the vaginal area to reduce dryness and distress. These lubricants and creams can also modify the vagina’s pH, decreasing the likelihood of getting a UTI. Women should choose a lubricant intended explicitly for vaginal use. The lubricant is mostly water-based. In some cases, a healthcare professional can prescribe estrogen therapy in the form of a pill, cream, or ring, which release estrogen. Because a lot of products can disturb delicate vaginal skin, it’s necessary to seek evaluation and treatment advice at a doctor’s office if the disease persists.
You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 3188 5000.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.