Valentin Tureanu, MD, NCMP
Reproductive Endocrinologist & Certified Menopause Practitioner located in Chicago, IL & Downers Grove, IL
Vaginal dryness causes uncomfortable symptoms, and it can also make you more prone to infection. Dr. Tureanu is skilled in diagnosing the cause of vaginal dryness in women in Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois, providing custom treatment solutions to relieve painful symptoms and help them enjoy better health and an improved quality of life. To learn more about treatments that can help you relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness, call our office or use our online system to schedule your office visit today.
What is vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is a painful condition that develops when the vagina no longer produces adequate lubricating fluids to keep the membranes and tissues healthy and moist.
What causes vaginal dryness?
The most common cause of vaginal dryness is a decline in estrogen production. Estrogen levels can drop as a result of:
- Some types of cancer treatments
- Immune system disorders, like Sjogren’s syndrome
- Oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries)
Other causes of vaginal dryness include:
- Frequent douching
- Using soaps or other products with chemicals that irritate the vagina
- Some medicines, including allergy and asthma medicines and other antihistamine products
- Some types of antidepressants
- Chronic anxiety
What symptoms are associated with vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness causes symptoms like:
- Painful intercourse or light bleeding following intercourse
- Pain or discomfort when using or inserting tampons
- Burning or itching sensations in or around the vagina
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Vaginal discharge
Painful intercourse can lead to a decreased interest in sex, which can take a toll on your personal relationships. Plus, the lack of natural fluids makes the vagina more prone to infections.
How is vaginal dryness diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of vaginal dryness, the first step in determining the cause -- and your treatment -- is to have a pelvic exam. During the exam, Dr. Tureanu evaluates the walls of your vagina to look for signs of thinning or dryness. He may take a sample of your vaginal fluids for examination as well.
Depending on your symptoms and your medical history, you may have blood tests to measure the level of hormones in your blood or other tests to check for infections or other possible causes. Plus, Dr. Tureanu reviews your medical history, including any medications you’re taking, to look for possible “clues” that could help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.
What treatments are available for vaginal dryness?
Your treatment depends on what’s causing your vaginal dryness. Some women can relieve their symptoms with topical creams and gels to lubricate the vagina so symptoms like burning and itching are alleviated. Lubricants can also be used to make intercourse more comfortable. Topical estrogen creams deliver estrogen specifically to the vaginal area to help restore the natural balance of fluids that are disrupted when estrogen levels fall.
Women in menopause may prefer hormone replacement therapy using bioidentical hormones to treat vaginal dryness and other symptoms of menopause. Dr. Tureanu works closely with each woman to develop a treatment plan that’s optimized for her needs and preferences.
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