Vaginal Dryness Q & A
What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness?
Women with vaginal dryness will usually experience symptoms like:
- burning or itching in and around the vagina
- pain during intercourse or sometimes when using tampons
- burning sensations during urination
- increased urge to urinate
- other symptoms of irritation in or around the vagina
Vaginal dryness can increase the likelihood of developing a urinary tract or vaginal infection, so being evaluated at the first sign of any of these symptoms is important to avoid developing more serious issues.
What causes vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is most commonly caused by a drop in the level of estrogen produced by the body, typically during menopause or as a result of breastfeeding, childbirth, douching too often, or the presence of some medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome. Long-term use of some medical treatments including chemotherapy for cancer can also cause vaginal dryness, and so can surgical procedures like total hysterectomy and oophorectomy, or removal of the ovaries. Any of these issues can cause the vaginal tissues to produce less natural lubrication, and they may also cause the vagina to become less elastic.
How is vaginal dryness diagnosed?
Diagnosis of vaginal dryness begins with a description of your symptoms and a review of your personal medical history, followed by a pelvic exam. Urinalysis, blood tests and other evaluations may also be prescribed to determine the cause of dryness.
What treatments are available to help relieve vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness caused by estrogen can be treated with hormone medications including pills or topical products. In some cases, laser treatment may be helpful in restoring the vaginal tissues so they produce more lubrication. Before any treatment is performed, we’ll review your options so you can make an informed decision you feel confident about.