It seems like everyone is finally talking about vaginal dryness and honestly, it’s about time. The symptoms associated with vaginal dryness often take women by surprise during the menopausal transition, and unlike hot flashes, which will eventually subside, vaginal dryness and the changes associated with it can be more chronic and progressive if not treated. Vaginal and vulvar burning, itching, irritation, dryness and pain during sex are all common symptoms that may be experienced in women with vaginal dryness. The good news? It’s totally manageable and there are treatments that can help with vaginal dryness and associated symptoms.
Connection Between Menopause and Vaginal Dryness
Lower estrogen levels that occur during menopause change the vagina on a cellular level. Less estrogen means less blood flow, which can transform the typical lush, elastic vaginal tissue into something thinner, more delicate and less lubricated. In fact, this type of change occurs to some degree in other instances too; during lactation, while taking birth control pills and other medications, such as those used in breast cancer treatment and prevention, as well as in smokers, and in those who have had their ovaries removed.
Vaginal dryness can also predispose women to vaginal infection and subsequent odor. In some cases, women describe intercourse as feeling like “sandpaper” or a “razor blade”. This makes penetration next to impossible.
What Can Help with Vaginal Dryness?
There are many treatment options that can help with vaginal dryness and its associated symptoms. Some of these could be considered to be more “natural” remedies for menopause dryness, while others require a prescription from your healthcare provider. Let’s talk about some of your options.
First, consider investing in a fabulous “vaginal” moisturizer. Commit to using it regularly and indefinitely. After all, would you skip a day of your daily facial care regimen? I recommend a hyaluronic acid-based product. Hyaluronic acid is already widely used in the dermatology and cosmetic worlds. It is found naturally in the body and is able to retain 1000 times its weight in moisture.
Bonafide's Natural Remedy for Vaginal Dryness and Associated Symptoms
Revaree® is a hormone-free solution designed to treat vaginal dryness and associated symptoms of burning, irritation and pain with sex.
Second, if you’re curious about what you can do about vaginal dryness, especially if you’re experiencing discomfort during sex, you may want to consider using a lubricant. Water, silicone, and oil-based products are abundant and can temporarily help with vaginal dryness symptoms, but are most-often used in the moment. Some lubricants are hypoallergenic or organic for the super sensitive. Remember, less is more when considering ingredients since many women become irritated from added chemicals.
Third, be mindful of feminine hygiene and bath products. Harsh fragrances might prompt irritation in the delicate vaginal area and may contribute to vaginal dryness. Douches are generally frowned upon since vaginal pH can be disrupted. It’s important to keep in mind that the vagina has natural mechanisms to keep itself clean and pH balanced. Using gentle, fragrance-free, and dye-free products, as well as not over cleansing, can help with vaginal dryness.
Hormone replacement therapy is another option that can help relieve vaginal dryness. However, this type of treatment is not without potential risks, and you should speak with your gynecologist to see if this or other prescription options might be appropriate for you.†
Finally, whether partnered or solo, regular vaginal stimulation enhances blood flow and maintains a healthy vagina. As the saying goes, “use it or lose it!”
†Always check in with your health care provider to optimize health and manage medications.