Vaginal Dryness: Symptoms and Treatments
Published on: October 15, 2021
Vaginal dryness is an unpleasant feeling of dryness of the mucous membrane of the vagina, often associated with itching, burning, and pain during sexual intercourse.
It is caused by a substantial decrease in the natural lubrication of the intimate female areas, attributable to various causes.
In most cases, vaginal dryness is determined by physiological and hormonal factors. This symptom is typically associated with the decreased production of estrogen starting with the approach of menopause.
In this case, we speak of atrophic vaginitis: estrogenic decline causes vaginal and vulvar dryness and thinning, which can cause inflammation of the mucous membrane.
Vaginal dryness can also occur in pregnancy, postpartum, and breastfeeding.
However, it can also be due to a vaginal infection.
Furthermore, it can depend on psycho-physical stress, excessive use of aggressive intimate cleansers, and lack of interest in a sexual relationship.
Vaginal and vulvar dryness is a typical symptom of Sjögren’s syndrome.
This autoimmune disease manifests itself in the mucous membranes, affecting the eyes, mouth, and other body parts. Vaginal dryness can be easily resolved using suitable products capable of reducing the sense of local discomfort and burning.
Vaginal Dryness During Menopause
Intimate dryness in menopause is also commonly called vaginal dryness.
It is a typical symptom of menopause that results in a more or less critical lack of normal vaginal lubrication that often makes intimate relationships with your partner painful.
Research conducted in 2015 showed that 78% out of a sample of 1000 women between 45 and 75 said they had vaginal dryness problems and, of these, 76% also complained of pain during sexual intercourse.
Intimate dryness, therefore, presents itself as a real problem, which can negatively change the sexual life in menopause, already destined to change somehow.
After menopause, estrogen deficiency causes a progressive modification of the structure of the vagina, which becomes thinner from the inside, increasingly poor lubrication.
The consequence of all this is progressive vulvovaginal atrophy with all its ailments: irritation, burning, itching, and pain during sexual intercourse.
This pain is caused by minor abrasions that can develop on the vaginal mucosa in the initial tract when penetration occurs without lubrication.
The lesions of the mucous membranes can be followed by irritating complications such as an annoying burning sensation accompanied by bladder disorders and, again, by burning on urination to get to problems of recurrent cystitis. This condition can appear 24 to 72 hours after intercourse.
At the same time, penetration by the man is also more complex. For this reason, the partner can also suffer from this condition, experiencing erection deficits and, often, the conviction of being sexually rejected by his own woman.
These factors, which are also responsible for the decline in sexual desire in menopause, can negatively affect life, therefore, our well-being in general.
Treatment and Therapy
It is easier to treat vaginal dryness by using topical (vaginal) estrogen rather than oral estrogen.
Estrogen applied in the vagina can enter the bloodstream more quickly but in minimal quantities. Furthermore, estrogen for vaginal use does not decrease testosterone (essential for proper sexual function).
Estrogen for vaginal use can be:
Cream: is applied directly into the vagina using an applicator, usually in the evening before bedtime. Your doctor will advise you on the amount and frequency of application. Usually once a day for the first few weeks and then twice a week after that.
Tablet: it is inserted into the vagina using a special disposable applicator. Usually, once a day for the first two weeks and then twice a week.
Suppose vaginal dryness is accompanied by other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and/or night sweats.
In that case, your doctor may recommend an estrogen pill, patch or cream, or a high-dose ring of estrogen combined with a progestin. Ask your doctor if hormone therapy is right for you and which type is most suitable.
In some cases, the gynaecologist may resort to hormonal therapy for postmenopausal women to support the organism, gradually decreasing; the choice must consider the risk/benefit ratio, which is not always favourable.
Lubricants and Moisturisers
A practical alternative, probably comparable to hormonal therapies.
Moisturising and lubricating are creams and gels available to the chemist’s shop can be used both in conjunction with intercourse and, when necessary. Daily and systematic as they have no side effects.
Lubricants. Water-based lubricants can lubricate the vagina for several hours. Apply the lubricant to the entrance to the vagina or the partner’s penis before intercourse.
Moisturising products. These products mimic natural vaginal secretions and relieve dryness for up to three days with a single application. Use them as ongoing protection from irritation caused by vaginal dryness.
Getting To Know Yourself
Temporary vaginal dryness during intercourse can dictate that you are not excited enough – take more time to enjoy intimacy with your partner and let your body produce its optimal lubrication.
It can be helpful to tell your partner what you prefer and what makes you feel best; for better lubrication. It may also be beneficial to have intercourse more frequently than usual.
Products to Avoid
You have probably already tried anything to ease the discomfort.
However, you should not use the following products to treat vaginal dryness, as it may irritate the vagina:
- vinegar, or other types of homemade lavender,
- hand cream,
- body wash.
Vaginal Dryness: Natural Remedies and Supplements
Soy and its derivatives like miso, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk help with vaginal dryness. Black cohosh, isoflavones, and other phytoestrogens stand out too.
Those foods can simulate the activity of endogenous estrogens but with a much lower intensity of action; for this reason, they are traditionally recommended not only to improve vaginal dryness but also to solve the other typical symptoms of menopause.
As for nutrition, it is advisable to avoid drastic diets, keep liquids high and meet the need for fats, including essential ones.
The Power Of Hyaluronic Acid to Treat Vaginal Dryness
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule with a complex structure, naturally present in our body in connective tissues and other parts of the body. Its intense moisturising action is due to its physical characteristics. It can bind and retain numerous water molecules in its structure: a single gram holds up to 3 litres of water.
Its concentration in the tissues progressively decreases with advancing age. For this reason, the tissues are less elastic and less hydrated. Specific products that contain it help restore elasticity and hydration to the skin and mucous membranes, thus improving comfort and quality of life.
The products based on hyaluronic acid, in contact with the tissues, form a stable, protective film, which allows a prolonged moisturising effect over time. Recent research shows that it can exert a further double activity in the vaginal area: it enhances the natural defences of the mucosa and promotes the healing processes of micro-lesions.
Being natural means that its use is free from side effects: it is biocompatible, does not cause immune reactions, and is biodegradable.
Its moisturising, lubricating, and film-forming properties make it an ideal ingredient in external and internal intimate use preparations.
The local use of hyaluronic acid represents a valid aid for the short and long-term treatment of vaginal disorders such as itching, burning, dyspareunia and vaginal dryness.
Numerous medical studies show how hyaluronic acid-based products are effective when used both as a treatment for vaginal atrophy and as adjuvants in the case of intimate disorders of other origins.
A natural moisturiser such as hyaluronic acid, in a cleansing formula intended for daily use on areas prone to dryness, can help to give hydration and comfort to the intimate parts. Improving the quality of life for women.
How can an injection of hyaluronic acid help relieve women suffering from vulvovaginal disorders?
Injections bring hyaluronic acid directly into the tissues of the vulvovaginal area to contribute to its efficient hydration.
This type of injection uses a mechanical pressure on the cells of the vulvovaginal mucosa increasing their activity leading to the synthesis of elastin and collagen fibres.
This improves the quality of the vulvovaginal mucosa treating the dryness.
How London Cosmetic Clinic Use Hyaluronic Acid To Treat Vaginal Dryness
DESIRIAL is the world’s first range of non-animal, bioresorbable, injectable hydrogels, exclusively developed to preserve women’s intimate health.
DESIRIAL products are designed and manufactured in France by Laboratoires Vivacy, the Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Medicine specialist.
The first range of gels based on Hyaluronic Acid and natural Anti-oxidant, specifically designed for women’s intimate health.
The DESIRIAL range is available in two different formulations:
DESIRIAL: biostimulation/rehydration in the dermis and in the medium / deep mucosa. Vulvovaginal atrophy helps reduce vaginal dryness and restore hydration. elasticity, tone and sensitivity in the vulvovaginal area.
DESIRIAL PLUS: filling and deep subcutaneous remodelling. Moderate or severe hypotrophy. It can correct vulvar morphological imperfections. Combats functional disorders.
DESIRIAL is the first range of cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid (IPN-Like Technology) gels, specifically designed for women suffering from vaginal dryness and other symptoms related to vulvovaginal atrophy.
DESIRIAL and DESIRIAL PLUS are the only medical devices based on Hyaluronic Acid to have the CE mark for gynaecological applications (rejuvenation of the vaginal mucosa, reconstruction of the labia majora …). The DESIRIAL range, therefore, complies with all safety standards for the treatment of this delicate area.
The IPN-Like technology, developed by Laboratoires Vivacy, is based on a special cross-linking process, which allows obtaining high-performance products.
The natural anti-oxidant Mannitol protects the Hyaluronic Acid from the free radicals, for even longer-lasting results.
- Hydration of the vulvovaginal area
- The soothing effect of the irritated areas
- Improvement of the genital mucosal tissue
DESIRIAL is indicated for all cases of vulvovaginal dryness. This degradation of tissues may be perceived as discomfort or burning, increased sensitivity or chronic irritation and itching which can lead to wounds.