Vaginal dryness is an uncomfortable and painful condition that usually occurs during or after menopause. The estrogen level in your body gets reduced during this time which eventually leads to vaginal dryness. However, there are other factors that can trigger this condition including certain medications and immune disorders. This is a problem that can affect women at any age but it is visible more frequently in older women.
Here are some common factors that may lead to vaginal dryness:
1. Hormonal changes - A decrease in estrogen level that occurs during menopause is one of the most common causes of vaginal dryness. The decrease in estrogen may also occur during perimenopause, during breastfeeding or after childbirth. Radiation and chemotherapy for cancer treatment may also result in a decrease in vaginal lubrication.
2. Irritants - Chemicals present in soaps, dyes, hygiene products and perfumes may cause allergy in some women. Irritants present in underwear or towels and other allergens like objects and lubricants that are placed in the vagina may also cause vaginal dryness.
3. Insufficient arousal - Low libido or other sexual problems may also lead to vaginal dryness. Poor sexual performance and early ejaculation may also contribute to it.
4. Anxiety - Sexual desire can be affected by emotional and psychological factors such as anxiety and stress that may eventually lead to vaginal dryness. High anxiety level in women results in insufficient flow of blood, causing vaginal dryness.
How can vaginal dryness be treated?
Topical estrogen therapy is a common method of treating vaginal dryness caused by low estrogen level. Topical estrogen helps in inserting some hormone that your body is no longer producing. This controls the vaginal symptoms to a certain extent but it does not replace as much estrogen as oral hormone therapy, in your blood stream. Lubricants and moisturizers may also be applied to reduce vaginal dryness and make sex less painful and uncomfortable.
Word of Caution
Please get a PAP Smear done before starting local estrogen and keep a follow up with your doctor.