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Menopause & Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is an uncomfortable symptom of the menopause which can impact a woman's sex life.

Mature romantic couple

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In this article, we explore vaginal dryness, the causes, and solutions to the unpleasant symptoms experienced by women with vaginal dryness.

What Is Vaginal Dryness?

Vaginal dryness is caused by a lack of lubrication and can be very uncomfortable. Symptoms of vaginal dryness include:

  • itchy or sore in and around your vagina
  • pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • feeling 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% of females experience moderate to severe vaginal dryness because of the menopause.

What Causes Vaginal Dryness?

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.

Impact On Sex Life

Vaginal dryness is not only uncomfortable 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.

Relief From Vaginal Dryness

Depending on how severe the symptoms are there are several ways to help you find relief.

Lubrication and Moisturisers

In the case of vaginal dryness, intimate moisturisers can help to relieve dryness and irritation even during sex.

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.

Diet And Hydration

Small lifestyle changes can also go a long way to helping you to manage your symptoms.

  • Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet that 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.

Summary

Vaginal dryness is just one of many symptoms women experience during perimenopause. Understanding how your hormones are changing as you get older will help you determine if the symptoms you’re experiencing are due to perimenopause.

 

To learn more about other menopause symptoms, read our comprehensive Guide To Menopause Symptoms.

Read Next: ‘Guide The Menopause’>>

View More Female Health Articles>>

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References

  1. Santoro, N et al. (2016). Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am: 44(3), pp 497-515.

  2. 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.

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