In a nutshell, vaginal dryness in menopause is caused by a drop in estrogen levels in the body. Treatment options include MonaLisa Touch, hormone replacement therapy, medication, and more. In the following sections, we will look at the topic of menopausal vaginal dryness in more detail, so you are familiar with the causes, symptoms, and treatment and management options.
Why Do Women Experience Menopausal Vaginal Dryness?
Vagina dryness is one of the menopausal symptoms associated with genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Other symptoms of GSM include frequent urination and urinary tract infections.
The underlying cause for these symptoms is a decline in estrogen levels in the body just before menopause, during menopause, and after menopause. This happens because the ovaries – the source of estrogen – will naturally release smaller amounts of this hormone as they age.
Hormone depletion then leads to vaginal atrophy, a medical term that refers to the thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal wall. With menopause, the vaginal lining thins and loses its elasticity, and the natural amount of lubrication or vaginal secretions also declines.
While not every woman going through menopause will experience vaginal dryness, most women do, and it impacts their lives negatively in many ways. For instance, most women have to use menopause itching cream or some kind of vagina lotion to find relief from the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
Estrogen levels in the body also decline in non-menopausal years if a woman has both ovaries surgically removed (this can trigger menopause). Similarly, estrogen depletion sometimes happens because of childbirth and breastfeeding or when a woman takes anti-estrogen medication.
Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness
Common symptoms of vaginal dryness include the following:
- Vaginal itching
- A burning sensation
- Pain during intercourse
- Discomfort during physical activity
These symptoms are far-reaching and often create secondary, unwanted effects. For instance, when a woman experiences pain during intercourse, it’s normal to lose the desire for sex. The medical term for pain during penetrative sex is dyspareunia.
In menopausal women, dyspareunia happens when there’s a decrease in vaginal wetness, tightening of the vaginal wall, and narrowing of the vagina. In addition, symptoms such as vaginal itching can affect women’s sexual confidence. Without the help of menopause itching cream or some prescribed vagina lotion, it’s likely they won’t find sex as pleasurable and may even have trouble reaching orgasm.
The other thing is, as the vaginal wall thins and weakens, it becomes inflamed, and there’s an increase in vaginal pH (the environment becomes less acidic). This puts the vaginal and urinary tract tissue at a higher risk of infection.
What to Do if You’re Dealing With Vaginal Dryness
For most women, it seems that vaginal dryness and its highly unpleasant symptoms are part and parcel of aging. While it may be true, it doesn’t mean you have to learn to live with it. It’s important to realize that you’re not alone and don’t have to endure menopausal dryness in solitude or silence.
Vaginal dryness is very common, and seeking treatment should be a normalized reaction that doesn’t trigger feelings of embarrassment or discomfort. We encourage you to seek the services of a health professional – preferably a gynecologist – to discuss your treatment options.
The doctor will ask a few questions about the symptoms and menstrual changes you’re dealing with during the appointment. They may also conduct a pelvic examination and take a swab for lab testing.
Although there’s no specific test to diagnose vaginal dryness, a lab test can provide helpful information, such as your vaginal pH level and bacterial concentration. Ultimately, your doctor will declare a diagnosis of vaginal dryness based on the combination of symptoms you’re currently experiencing.
They may then recommend the best vaginal moisturizer or lubricant for menopause dryness on the market, among other options. Let’s look at vaginal dryness treatment and management options in more detail next.
Vaginal Dryness Treatment and Management Options
When you seek a doctor’s advice, they will typically recommend the following vaginal dryness treatment options:
As mentioned, your doctor can recommend the best vaginal moisturizer available to treat dryness. The best vaginal moisturizer for you is specifically designed for this area and is effective at keeping your vagina tissues moist and healthy.
If you apply the moisturizer as prescribed, you will experience relief, though your doctor might recommend another treatment option if the symptoms persist. Your doctor might also prescribe a different vagina lotion, such as menopause itching cream, to alleviate other symptoms of dryness.
The best lubricant for menopause dryness is a water-based one. That’s because lubricants containing petroleum jelly or glycerin can cause irritation and weakening of condoms. Using a water-based lubricant in your vagina before intercourse helps ensure there’s enough moisture to prevent pain or discomfort.
If you’re not sure which lubricant is right for you, be sure to ask your doctor to recommend the best lubricant for menopause dryness that works for most women.
There are various types of estrogen therapy. Your doctor may recommend a vaginal ring, gel, cream, or tablet that you insert directly into the vagina. There are also estrogen pills that you take orally, as well as topical estrogen creams. Estrogen therapy helps to relieve dryness and pain during intercourse. However, keep in mind that although hormone therapy is beneficial, it’s also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Laser therapy for menopausal dryness is one of the most effective treatments available today. The MonaLisa Touch, a vaginal rejuvenation therapy, stimulates collagen production in the vaginal mucosa tissue. The treatment helps reform the natural conditions in this sensitive region to restore the natural amount of vaginal lubrication.
The biggest advantage of the MonaLisa Touch is that it’s painless and nearly non-invasive. It also eliminates the need for other time-consuming treatments like the application of moisturizer, lubricant, or cream. With this option, there’s also no need to put yourself at a higher risk of developing breast cancer – a risk that’s associated with estrogen therapy.
Increased Frequency of Sex
Increasing the frequency of sex is one home remedy that can also relieve menopausal dryness. It’s crucial to ensure that you and your partner engage in extended foreplay. The more stimulation you receive through sexual activity, the more supple and moist the vaginal wall becomes. You can also achieve this effect without a partner through masturbation and the use of vibrators, dildos, and dilators.
Contact Dr. Andrew Krinsky Gynecology MonaLisa Touch for Vaginal Rejuvenation Laser Therapy
To conclude, menopausal dryness is a common vaginal symptom associated with a significant drop in estrogen levels in the body. This can cause a corresponding drop in the quality of life for most women going through menopause.
If you’re interested in treating vaginal dryness with laser therapy, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Andrew Krinsky and his experienced staff. MonaLisa Touch Vaginal Rejuvenation Laser Therapy is a practical, painless, and minimally invasive treatment that helps to improve natural vaginal lubrication. We have helped many women with this effective treatment, and we can help you.