Vaginal dryness is a common condition which could affect almost every woman at any age. Mostly women face this problem during or after menopausal transition. Study showed that almost 10 to 40% of women who have passed through the menopausal phase have experienced the indications of dryness at the internal tract of their private organ. This problem often leads to immense discomfort and pain or dyspareunia.
Vaginal Dryness Symptoms
Symptoms of this disorder include:
- Dryness and lack of lubrication in the vaginal tract
- Irritation, itching, and burning sensation
- Unbearable pain and light bleeding during love making
- Enhanced frequency of urination or feelings of urgency for urination
Vaginal Dryness Causes
A number of underlying causes are responsible for vaginal dryness.
1. Declining Hormonal Level
Decreased level of female hormone estrogen is thought to be the main reason behind this dryness. Estrogen is extremely necessary for keeping the tissues lining the tubal part of female organ healthy and lubricated. Estrogen also maintains the elasticity and acidic atmosphere, thereby providing much needed shield against several infections. Dropped estrogen level weakens this natural defense which makes the inner lining less elastic, more fragile, and less lubricated.
The following causes are thought to be responsible for estrogen fall:
- Menopause, perimenopause, or postmenopause
- Surgical cases like hysterectomy
- Change in menstrual cycle
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Some medications for infertility and endometriosis
- Cancer therapy
- Immune disorders
- Excessive physical activities
2. Personal Hygiene
A number of products that are meant for personal hygiene include feminine sprays, antibacterial and deodorant soaps, and a number of apparently gentle soaps. They easily drive away necessary moisture from the delicate lining tissues of vulva and genital tract making them dry. Many feminine douching products and laundry detergents contain irritants which are also responsible for dryness.
Food items containing fats that help to maintain proper hormonal balance should be the essential part of everyday diet. As our body produces estrogen from cholesterol, it is extremely important that women should add lots of essential fatty acid in their everyday diet. Drinks containing caffeine and alcohol have diuretic (dehydrating) effect which robs moisture from the female organ and should be avoided.
Certain drugs are not friendly to our mucus membrane and dry out the lining of female organ tract. Some drugs could also change the estrogen level in female body causing dryness. These drugs include:
- Drugs for cancer treatment
- Drugs for vaginosis
- Medicines for urinary tract infection
- Drugs for high blood pressure and ulcers
5. Medical Conditions
Autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome could cause the vaginal dryness.
6. Emotional Issues
Due to depression, mental stress, and anxiety many women face the problem of incomplete arousal and dryness.
Treating Vaginal Dryness
A number of natural home remedies could be followed to get rid of this problem. But these procedures might need a few weeks to show any considerable improvements.
Increase Water Intake: Your hydration level could be low enough to cause this problem. In order to enhance the overall hydration level everyday you need to take a lot of water. It is recommended to take at least ten glasses of water everyday.
Check the Chemicals: Check the chemicals used in the products of your daily hygienic care. Many chemicals used in your soaps, laundry detergent, perfumes, feminine sprays and deodorants behave as the irritants to the mucosal wall of female organ causing dryness.
Hormone-Balancing Food: You need to follow a diet which fulfills the need of your body to produce and balance the hormones. A well-balanced diet consisting of food items which carry appropriate amount of healthy fats would support a healthy body and facilitate estrogen production as per requirement. Food items containing lots of essential fatty acids are a good resource of healthy fats for your body. Essential fatty acids include:
- Omega-3 (fish and flaxseed oil)
- Omega-6 (evening primrose oil and borage oil)
- Omega-9 (olive oil)
Sea fishes like fresh salmon, tuna, mackerel, halibut, etc. are the best sources of essential fatty acids. In absence of fish you could also take a supplement with a combination of three essential fatty acids. Addition of soy and flax seed to your diet would make up the shortage of phytoestrogens.
Personal Lubricant: A water-based and water-soluble lubricant would be extremely helpful if you are feeling pain due to dryness during penetration. Personal lubricants should be slightly acidic matching the normal body fluids which inhibits the proliferation of harmful microorganisms. Never use petroleum-based lubricants which would damage latex condoms compromising their effectiveness for birth control.
Moisturizing Creams: Vaginal moisturizing creams are formulated with phytoestrogens which naturally replenish reduced estrogen levels. They help in maintaining acidic environment in female organ which aids in preventing infections.