What is vaginal dryness and how can it affect you?
Vaginal dryness is often a result of menopause and it is capable of affecting women of any age. Although it feels like a minor irritation, it can have a huge impact on a person's sex life. Normally, the vaginal walls are lubricated with a layer of clear fluid. The 'oestrogen' hormone is used to maintain this thin layer of fluid, thus keeping the vaginal lining thick, elastic and healthy. However, menopause brings about a condition known as vaginal atrophy, which is a drop in the levels of oestrogen and this greatly reduces the level of vaginal moisture that is available. Improper lubrication of the vagina can result in painful sex which in turn affects libido, arousal and desire.
Treatment: The most common treatment for this condition resulting from low levels of oestrogen is Topical oestrogen therapy. In this, hormones which are no longer secreted by the body are replaced by the topical oestrogen. Even though Topical Oestrogen Therapy is helpful in relieving the symptoms of vaginal dryness, the treatment pales in comparison to oral oestrogen hormone therapy (HT).
Usually, women mostly use one of the three types of vaginal oestrogen listed below:
Side effects and aftercare: Side effects such as breast pain and vaginal bleeding are common when any form of oestrogen product is used. Vaginal moisturisers should be used to keep the vagina lubricated. Use of water-based lubricants during sex can make it more enjoyable. Use of bubble baths, scented soaps, douches and lotions around the sensitive area of the vagina should be avoided as these products can worsen the problem.
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