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.
The most common cause of vaginal dryness is a decline in estrogen production. Estrogen levels can drop as a result of:
Other causes of vaginal dryness include:
Vaginal dryness causes symptoms like:
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.
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.
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.