Vaginal dryness can be a real pain in the…. well, you know where and it is a common symptom of the menopause. Changes to our hormone levels are to blame for vaginal dryness, particularly the reduction in oestradiol, a type of oestrogen, during both perimenopause and post-menopause.
Vaginal dryness is uncomfortable and can make you feel:
- itchy or sore in and around your vagina
- pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
- like you need to pee more often
It can also make you more susceptible to developing urinary tract infections (UTI).
It is estimated that up to 60 per cent of females experiences moderate to severe vaginal dryness because of the menopause. Not only is vaginal dryness uncomfortable on a personal level but it can also affect intimate relationships. A lack of vaginal lubrication can make sexual intercourse painful and as such can cause some women to develop vaginismus, a reflex causing the muscles of the vagina to contract so much that penetration isn’t even possible. Therefore, this symptom has a direct impact on your intimate relationship.
Did you know help is at hand? Depending on how severe the symptoms are there are several ways to help you find relief. In the case of vaginal dryness, intimate moisturisers can help to relieve dryness and irritation even during sex.
Small lifestyle changes can also go a long way to helping you to manage your symptoms. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet which incorporates omega-3 fatty acids like those found in oily fish and nuts is important. Always remember to stay hydrated, too. Adequate hydration will help to keep all your cell hydrated and lubricated and may help in the production of vaginal fluid.
Talking to your partner is also key to help them understand what you’re going through and why you may be acting or feeling in a certain way.
You can find out more about how changing your diet may help to control your symptoms with our article ‘How Should I Change My Diet to Help Improve My Menopause’.
You can check your health as you transition through the menopause with a simple at-home blood test. Check changes in hormones with our perimenopause check or our more comprehensive menopause health check which includes bone and cardiovascular risk indicators.
#menopause #MenopauseAwarenessMonth #itsnojokingmatter
Santoro, N et al. (2016). Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am: 44(3), pp 497-515.
Waetjen, L, E et al. (2018). Factors Associated with Developing Vaginal Dryness Symptoms in Women Transitioning Through Menopause: A Longitudinal Study. Menopause: 25(10), pp 1094-1104.