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What To Use For Menopause Dryness

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Causes Of Vaginal Dryness

In most cases, vaginal dryness is the result of a decrease in estrogen levels. As you age, a fall in estrogen levels can reduce the amount of moisture lining your vaginal walls. Age-related hormonal changes can also alter the consistency of this moisture.

For some women, hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy or while breastfeeding can also lead to a decrease in vaginal lubrication. Estrogen levels may also drop due to:

  • Use of chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy in the treatment of cancer
  • Radiation therapy to the pelvic area
  • Immune disorders
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries/hysterectomy

In other cases, vaginal dryness may result from the;use of medications that reduce moisture levels throughout the body . The vagina can also become irritated from douching, laundry detergents, and soaps. Cigarette smoking, tampons, and condoms may also cause vaginal dryness.

Tips For Talking To Your Doctor About Vaginal Dryness

Discussing vaginal dryness with a healthcare professional can be daunting however it is often well worth it as they will be able to help. Here are a few tips to make the discussion as easy as possible:

  • Make a list of what you want to discuss
  • Discuss the most important or most difficult questions first
  • Write down what the doctor tells you
  • If there is anything that you dont understand, ask for clarification
  • If you feel embarrassed take along some information with you. It can be difficult to discuss embarrassing problems face to face, but if you find information on the internet about your symptoms you can use this to help explain and avoid having to make eye contact with your HCP whilst discussing the problem
  • If you still feel unable to discuss the subject, write it all down and hand it to the HCP
  • Dont wait to be asked, give the HCP any information that you may feel is relevant including a history of the condition, symptoms, the impact they are having on you, any lifestyle factors that may have contributed and any medication you are taking
  • Many women find that their smears become more difficult, if this is the case, speak to the nurse about your symptoms and ask for some further information and advice about vaginal dryness.

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Are There Home Remedies For Vaginal Itching Burning And Irritation

Here are a few tips for preventing and treating vaginal irritation at home:

  • Avoid scented pads or toilet paper, creams, bubble bath, feminine sprays, and douches.
  • Use water and a plain, unscented soap to regularly clean your external genital area. But don’t wash more than once a day. Doing so can increase dryness.
  • Always wipe from front to back after having a bowel movement.
  • Wear cotton panties , and change your underwear every day.
  • Do not douche.
  • Change the diapers of infant girls regularly.
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, use a vaginal moisturizer. Apply a water-based lubricant before having sex.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse until your symptoms improve.
  • Don’t scratch — you can further irritate the area.

Hormonal Treatments Also May Be An Option

Menopause Vaginal Dryness

I often talk with patients about hormonal treatments when vaginal dryness comes along with urinary symptoms or menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes.

  • Estrogen creams and tablets are inserted a few times a week into the vagina. Creams must be measured and can get messy. Tablets are a good alternative.

  • Vaginal rings are placed in the vagina by the patient. They release a low dose of estrogen over 90 days.

These treatments deliver less estrogen than typical hormone therapy and have fewer risks. Talk with your ob-gyn about the pros and cons of different hormonal options.

Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.

Dr. Cynthia Abraham

Dr. Abraham is an obstetriciangynecologist and assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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What Are The Treatment Options For Vaginal Dryness

Quick Fact:

Irritants linked to increased dryness include soaps, detergents, shower gels, scented sprays, and other products containing allergens, dyes, or fragrances.

There are several options to address the symptoms of vaginal dryness, one of which is vaginal creams. Before starting, it’s important to be well hydrated and avoid products that may increase your vaginal dryness and irritation. Regular sexual activity can boost vaginal moisture after menopause.

Is Vaginal Dryness Impacting Your Quality Of Life

Vaginal dryness is something most women experience at some point in their life, but few women talk about. When your vaginal health is optimal, the cells in the vaginal wall secrete moisture that keeps your sensitive tissues hydrated. If natural lubrication is scarce, you might experience burning, irritation, itching and painful intercourse. While vaginal dryness is most common in older women due to declining estrogen levels, there are a handful of other factors that lead to decreased production of natural fluids, including: breastfeeding, some fertility and cancer medications, cigarette smoking even excessive stress and exercise can lead to vaginal dryness. There are many products that claim to provide relief from vaginal dryness, but some products, like douches, do more harm than good. Sage is a water-based moisturizer and lubricant that is pH-matched and isotonic for your maximum comfort and hydration, and is formulated with lactic acid and xylose to support optimal vaginal pH and promote a healthy vaginal ecosystem. Read more about vaginal dryness.

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New A Moisturizer For Temporary Relief Of Vaginal Dryness

We are excited to introduce the newest addition to our Vaginal Care and Comfort line Sage Personal Moisturizer and Lubricant, a water-based moisturizer designed to replenish your natural lubrication and provide temporary relief from vaginal dryness. While vaginal dryness is most common in older women due to declining estrogen levels, there are a handful of other factors that lead to decreased production of natural fluids, including: breastfeeding, antidepressants, some fertility and cancer medications, cigarette smoking even excessive stress and exercise can lead to vaginal dryness. Your quality of life matters dont let vaginal dryness keep you from enjoying your life.;

Further Tips To Deal With Vaginal Dryness

How to Use Vaginal Estrogen for Vaginal Dryness and Atrophic Vaginitis – Dr. Seibel

Certain factors can trigger or worsen dryness. Try avoiding the following:

  • Underwear made of synthetic materials, which may irritate the area.
  • Scented or harsh soaps, cleansers, and toilet paper, including douches and laundry detergents

In addition, there are other methods to help with intimacy for those who are suffering from vaginal dryness or who are unsure of their need for lube, including:

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What Are The Treatments For Menopausal Dryness

One of the most common seems to be try to have sexual intercourse as often as possible. This increases the blood flow, helps stimulate natural lubricant production and so keeps the vagina moist. In fact, abstinence from sexual intercourse is thought to make menopause vaginal dryness worse. This is the use-it-or-lose-it approach.

The treatment options include:

How To Prevent Dry Hair As A Result Of Menopause

While menopause is, unfortunately, an inevitable stage of life, there are certain bad habits you can stop, or at least try to minimize, in order to soften the effects of menopause on your hair so the side effects dont hit you as hard when the time comes.

To prevent dry hair after menopause is to ditch your heat styling tools. When curling or straightening your hair, keep the heat at 330-380°F and use a heat protectant beforehand. That said, invest in shampoos that have selenium or zinc like the Biolage Scalpsync Anti-Dandruff Shampoo as this helps strengthen hair and lock moisture.

Keep reading to find out more about how you can prevent menopause-related dry hair!

01. Avoid Heat-Styling Tools.

While heat-styling tools are a girls best friend when it comes to achieving a sleek, salon-finish, they certainly do a number on your hair!

Human hair contains keratin proteins and hydrogen bonds, which are vital for keeping hair strong and healthy. Heat styling tools, such as curling irons, flat irons, and blow-dryers completely strip your hair of its natural proteins and oils by breaking down the hydrogen bonds.

It may sound unrealistic to tell you to stop using them altogether, but try and limit them to only 2-3 times a week maximum. When you do use them, make sure you first apply a heat protectant spray to shield your hair from damage.

02. Avoid Too Much Sun Exposure.

03. Try Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

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Can Hormones Cause Menopause Itching

Estrogen also stimulates the formation of skin-smoothing collagen and oils that are necessary for hydrated and nourished appearance. Declining levels of the hormone are the primary culprit behind dry, itchy, and scaly skin that menopausal women usually notice on their face. Not only do low levels of estrogen cause dry skin, they also reduce the bodys ability to retain moisture. When the skin is not able to retain moisture or hydration, it becomes even drier and rough to the touch.

While it is natural for estrogen levels to decrease and to go through menopause, many other factors accelerate the process of skin dryness or development of different signs of aging. Exposure to suns UV rays without adequate protection, sleep deprivation, smoking, and unhealthy lifestyle, in general, are all major factors that aggravate this problem.

Dry skin texture and dull appearance can be frustrating for any woman, but you are not entirely helpless. Different solutions can help you overcome dryness and get a nourished, smooth skin. Below, were going to discuss menopause and skincare, an important subject every woman should know.

What Symptoms Can Be Associated With Vaginal Dryness And Vaginal Atrophy

3 Ways to Treat Vaginal Dryness During Menopause

    Other vaginal symptoms that are commonly associated with vaginal atrophy include vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and/or pain with sexual intercourse . The vaginal changes also lead to an increased risk of vaginal infections.

    In addition to the vaginal symptoms, women may experience other symptoms of the menopausal transition. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, fatigue, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, acne, memory problems, and unwanted hair growth.

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    Are There Other Symptoms To Look For

    With less lubrication, the skin around your vagina — your vulva — may burn or itch. Menopause symptoms can also affect your bladder and urethra. You may pee more often or feel a need to get to the bathroom right away. You may get more urinary tract infections. If your vaginal tissue tears, you may bleed a little after sex.

    Your doctor can help you find out if your symptoms are related to menopause or not. See your doctor right away if you have any bleeding. It may not be anything to worry about. But it could be a sign of something serious.

    How Are Vaginal Itching Burning And Irritation Treated

    Vaginal irritation will often get better on its own. However, if the irritation continues, is severe, or comes back after treatment, call for an appointment with your doctor. The doctor can do a pelvic exam. The doctor will probably also take a sample of the discharge to find the source of the problem.

    How vaginal discomfort is treated depends on what condition is causing the problem:

    • Vaginosis and STDs are treated with antibiotics/antiparasitics.
    • Yeast infections are treated with antifungalmedications. They are inserted into the vagina in the form of creams, ointments, or suppositories, or they are taken orally. You can buy these medications over the counter in different doses — one-day, three-day, seven-day. However, if you’ve never been diagnosed with a yeast infection, see your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication.
    • Menopause-related itching may be treated with estrogen cream, tablets, or a vaginal moisturizer.
    • Other types of itching and irritation respond to steroid creams or lotions, which reduce inflammation. A prescription-strength steroid cream can relieve the irritation of lichen sclerosis.

    In young girls, it’s important to report any itching, burning, or irritation to a health care provider, because these symptoms can be signs of sexual abuse.

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    Have Your Thyroid Hormones Checked

    Although this is not some skincare advice but it is equally important. Evidence shows that menopausal and postmenopausal women can also have hypothyroidism . In hypothyroidism, the gland doesnt produce sufficient amounts of much-needed hormones T3 and T4.

    Women are more prone to hypothyroidism than men, especially middle-aged ladies. This also happens to be the time when they enter menopause. Why is this important? Hypothyroidism causes a multitude of symptoms and changes in the body and dry skin is one of them. A growing body of evidence confirms that skin in hypothyroid individuals is rough and covered with fine scales.

    Schedule an appointment and have your thyroid hormones checked. If you do have hypothyroidism or some other thyroid disorder, your doctor will recommend an adequate treatment to normalize the hormone levels. This can also help combat dryness associated with menopausal skin.

    What Causes Menopausal Dryness

    Vaginal Dryness: Some Helpful Remedies

    Vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms of menopause and its onset can be fairly sudden at any stage of the menopause. Menopausal vaginal dryness mainly affects women between 40-65 years although it can happen at any time for reasons other than menopause.

    It can be a shock to feel suddenly let down by ones body and vaginal dryness can significantly impact sexual intercourse and intimacy for some women and leave many feeling inadequate, guilty and confused. It is not necessary to suffer in silence though and there are remedies to replace vaginal moisture and improve elasticity and skin quality.

    The mucous membranes of the vagina produce a fluid or natural lubricant that keeps the vagina moist, elastic and strong. Estrogen in the body encourages the vaginal tissues to produce this lubricant which is acidic to help protect the vagina from bacterial and fungal infections.

    As estrogen levels fall during menopause, the vaginal tissues produce less of this lubricant which can cause the vagina to become dry and the tissues to lose their elasticity and strength. As the vaginal tissues become thinner they become more fragile and sensitive.

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    Vaginal Lubrication And Sex

    If youâre noticing dryness during vaginal sex, this could be for a number of reasons. Maybe what your partner is doing just doesnât turn you on. If you feel turned on but are still dry, your body might simply need time to catch up with your brain. If youâre noticing vaginal dryness along with a lack of sexual desire, you may be experiencing low libido, which can be caused by a number of factors including medication and health conditions. Or you just might not be all that into your partner or the acts you are performing together.

    Your sexual desire is influenced by some of the same hormones that fluctuate with your cycle, like estrogen and progesterone.

    You may find your desire tends to increase in the days leading up to ovulation and decrease after ovulation is over . Sex drive may be lower when more progesterone is produced during the luteal phase . Exactly how reproductive hormones influence desire and preference isnât the same for everyone; some people report a higher sex drive as part of their premenstrual experience, while other present with decreased libido . Tracking desire throughout your cycle can help you discover whatâs true for you.

    Plant Oil Based Lubricant

    • A plant oil based lube veers away from the bottled, drugstore varieties. Instead, look within your kitchen to find plant-based options. This type of lube includes coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.;
    • These options are inexpensive, natural, and can work great in a pinch if youve run out of your regular lube.;

    The downside to this is that the oil can hinder using it with latex condoms, and it stains.

    Want to know more about using a plant oil lube like coconut oil? The article Coconut Oil As Lube: Is It Safe? What Is The Alternative? can answer some questions.

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    Top Things To Know About Vaginal Dryness:

    • Vaginal dryness can have physical or psychological causes

    • Vaginal lubrication is often closely tied to levels of the hormone estrogen, which changes at various life stages

    • Medications may cause vaginal dryness

    • You can have a happy and healthy sex life even if you donât produce much natural vaginal lubrication

    Vaginal dryness is common but treatable, and can happen at any age. Symptoms may include a burning sensation, vaginal discomfort or itching, abnormal vaginal discharge, or pain during sex or masturbation.

    There can be a number of reasons for vaginal dryness, both psychological and physiological. Whether youâre drier than you would like to be during sexual activity, or are experiencing more general discomfort due to vaginal dryness, here are some of the possible causesâand solutions:

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