Amongst the various complications that generally arise in the postmenopausal condition, vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of Vaginal Atrophy or Atrophic Vaginitis. The condition generally arises from the declining level of estrogen (a hormone) secreted in the body. As a result, the vaginal tissues become thinner as compared to their earlier form and can get easily irritated. It can be a concern and can lead to various issues. Let us take a look at the ways to treat this problem.
How to Treat Vaginal Dryness for Menopause?
Vaginal dryness caused by menopause can be primarily treated in 3 different ways:
The very first treatment that needs to be highlighted is hormone therapy which is rather effective as explained by doctors in treating the problem of vaginal atrophy due to menopause. This treatment is also referred to as hormone replacement therapy or even postmenopausal hormone therapy. Patients have reported effective relief from the problem of vaginal dryness with the help of this therapy. This treatment process is also much helpful in controlling the problems of hot flashes, which is again rather common in menopause. Hormone therapy can be administered either through oral medicine or through transdermal administration. In the latter process, sprays or patches of the medicine are applied to the skin from where it is absorbed into the body through the layer of the skin. (1, 2) Transdermal estrogens can enter the blood circulation of the body directly whereas estrogens provided through oral administration must pass through the liver and the stomach and get absorbed before it enters the bloodstream. Between both the procedures, the transdermal administration has been proven to be more effective since it does not involve the stomach or the liver. Ideally, hormone therapy if applied in limited amounts for a short period has proven to be very effective for the problem of vaginal dryness. However, the results and the effects of the treatment can vary from individual to individual depending on the intensity of the problem and the overall health condition of the person. (1)
Local/Topical Vaginal Treatment for Vaginal Dryness for Menopause:
Local or topical application of ointments, creams, and estrogen gels in your vagina for vaginal dryness is one of the most effective ways through which the problem can be treated. Since there are multiple options, let us take a detailed look at each one of them. (1)
- Vaginal Moisturizers: These are products that are popularly used for topical use. Generally, they are to be applied every couple of days in your vagina. They help to keep the vaginal tissues healthy and supple through proper lubrication (3).
- Vaginal Lubricants: Vaginal dryness at the time of menopause can lead to painful sexual intercourse. This is one of the major problems that have been reported by a large number of women who face the problem. (2) In this context, the vaginal lubricants will help to keep your vagina moist and comfortable and also will offer relief from vaginal pain at the time of intercourse.
- Vaginal Estrogen Cream: This is a low-dose medicine that is available in different forms. It is generally available in the form of creams, tablets, or even rings. They can help to reinvigorate the otherwise dry vaginal tissues. This medicine which is used for local application is often prescribed along with regular medicines of hormone therapy that is administered either orally or through patches. (3)
- Ospemifene for Vaginal Dryness for Menopause: This is a medicine that is generally administered orally. Also referred to as SERM or selective estrogen receptor modulator – this medicine is highly effective in treating painful intercourse (1, 3). However, a woman who is at an increased risk of breast cancer is generally not recommended this medication.
- DHEA: Also known as Dehydroepiandrosterone is yet another medicine that has proven to be more than effective in treating the problem of vaginal dryness due to menopause and painful intercourse.
Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness for Menopause:
Vaginal dryness due to menopause is often effectively treated through simple natural home remedies. (4, 5) Let us take a look at some of the most effective of the lot:
- Supplements and Herbs: Investigations done in this domain back in 2014 revealed that sea buckthorn oil is highly effective in treating vaginal dryness. In fact, this is one of the traditional alternatives that is often used in the place of estrogen therapy. (1, 5) It happens to be rich in fatty oils and provides a huge improvement in the domain of vaginal tissue integrity and vaginal elasticity.
- Vitamins to Treat Vaginal Dryness for Menopause: A list of vitamins and supplements can also help to improve the condition of your vaginal dryness are omega 3 fatty acids, B Vitamins, beta carotene, Vitamin A, and E. (5)
- Diet: Diet can play a major role in providing effective relief from the problem. Include estrogen-rich elements in your diet like soybeans and soy products and flaxseeds. Plant estrogens can bring about a major improvement in the condition of vaginal dryness. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can be very helpful at this time. Alcohol and caffeine need to be controlled during this time. (5)
- Exercise to Treat Vaginal Dryness for Menopause: Indulging in proper and well-guided exercises is a great way through which the problem of vaginal dryness can be controlled. Such a regular workout regime will improve blood flow and can balance the levels of important hormones in your body. Weight related issues can alleviate the problem of vaginal dryness. However, in this context, it is important to mention that too steep weight reduction within a considerably short span of time can also lead to an increase in the problem. Hence, the exercise chart must be such that everything is done in a moderate and balanced manner. (4, 5) It is best to consult a doctor and a professional physical trainer before you embark on the process of regular exercises. Not the same regime is found to be helpful for every woman.
- Personal Care Products to Treat Vaginal Dryness for Menopause: At this time, you must be very careful regarding the personal care items that you choose for yourself. All the products that you are using at this time must be Ph balanced. This can help the condition of vaginal dryness due to menopause. (5)
The condition of vaginal dryness can be very difficult to manage causing irritation, itching and painful sexual intercourse. Thus, it is imperative that once you experience the problem or as soon as you reach your menopause, consult with your healthcare practitioner to understand the suitable ways that you can implement to handle the problem. Regular sexual intercourse can be one of the most effective ways of combating and preventing the condition of vaginal dryness. However, this has to be practiced with the other preventive and treatment approaches for the problem. It can help a woman to feel better amidst acute uneasiness and pain due to the condition of vaginal dryness.