Vaginal Dryness In Menopause

Vaginal dryness is one of the most common signs of menopause; it occurs as a result of decreasing levels of oestrogen and can make urination and sex very uncomfortable and painful. Around 50 per cent of women experience vaginal dryness when they go through menopause.

It can be embarrassing to talk about personal issues with somebody you don't know very well, but if you suffer from vaginal dryness, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeing your doctor. Your doctor is there to help and they will have dealt with many women in the same situation before. If you don't feel comfortable seeing a male doctor, you can request a female doctor.

Menopause causes vaginal dryness because oestrogen keeps the mucous membranes of the vaginal wall moist; when oestrogen levels fall, the membranes lose moisture and they may also become increasingly sensitive. Vaginal dryness can make sex painful and you may also experience discomfort when you urinate; dryness and increased acidity can also increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

Treatment options

If you suffer with vaginal dryness, it is advisable to stay hydrated and to use hygiene products that are designed for sensitive skin. You can also use lubricants and creams to reduce dryness and prevent pain and discomfort; your GP may also discuss HRT (hormone replacement therapy) with you.

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