Vaginal dryness is one of the most distressing symptoms of menopause for many women – and one of the most difficult for women to talk about. However, vaginal dryness is also one of the most common symptoms of menopause, experienced by up to 60% of women as they transition out of their fertile years. When hormonal imbalances occur during menopause, falling estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness, making women more susceptible to infection, painful intercourse and daily discomfort.
Definition of Menopause Vaginal Dryness
Menopause vaginal dryness occurs when the vagina and labia lose moisture during menopause. Medically known as atrophic vaginitis, vaginal dryness can include loss of natural lubrication, dehydrated vaginal tissues and itchy, dry skin in the genital region.
Menopause Vaginal Dryness Symptoms
Its occurring during menopause can lead to symptoms such as vaginal aching, flaking of genital skin, and itching. Due to dehydration of the vaginal tissues that occurs during menopause, women may experience painful intercourse, leading to loss of libido and lowered sexual intimacy. Women may also experience irritation, stinging or burning sensations in the vagina and labia as a result of vaginal dryness during menopause. In some cases, light bleeding may also occur as skin and surrounding tissues become irritated and broken.
Loss of intimacy
Loss of libido
Susceptibility to STDs
Inability to climax
Feelings of pressure
Causes of Menopause Vaginal Dryness
The vagina provides its own source of natural moisture, creating increased lubrication through a dedicated layer of moisture that secretes through blood vessel walls. As women become sexually aroused, blood flow increases, raising natural vaginal moisture levels.
During menopause, however, the ovaries become less able to produce estrogen needed for vaginal moisture to be produced. As a result, the vagina becomes dehydrated, and vaginal tissues fall into a state of atrophy, experiencing thinning, dryness and loss of elasticity. As a result, the body’s ability to naturally secrete its own moisture and lubrication declines – even when women become aroused.
Menopause Vaginal Dryness Treatments
Menopause vaginal dryness can be treated in two major ways – treatment of episodes of vaginal dryness as they occur, or resolution of the underlying hormonal balances that cause vaginal dryness. Women may use specialized topical moisturizers or water-based lubricants in order to reduce the effects of vaginal dryness temporarily. Drinking plenty of water can also help keep vaginal tissues hydrated. Vitamin E oil also may be helpful for combating vaginal dryness in the short-term.
For years, women used hormone replacement therapy to correct hormonal imbalances during menopause that cause vaginal dryness during midlife. However, studies have shown that in some cases, HRT can cause vaginal dryness to worsen. Additionally, health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy – such as heightened risks stroke, blood clots, heart disease and breast cancer – have led many women to seek alternative, long-term solutions for vaginal dryness. Low-dose estrogen creams can also be used topically to attempt to combat vaginal dryness in menopausal women, and tend to provide less absorption of hormones into the bloodstream than orally taken HRT.
Amberen provides a natural, long-term solution for women seeking to correct hormonal imbalances that cause vaginal dryness. By promoting communication of hormonal transmission signals within the body, Amberen allows the body to reestablish its own natural hormone production levels, eliminating the symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, without the side effects of HRT.
Risks of Menopause Vaginal Dryness
Women may experience higher incidences of vaginal infections as a result of minor cuts and tears in the vagina and genital region. As a result, women can experience higher risks for sexually transmitted diseases during menopause, including higher risks of HIV, HPV (genital warts) and HSV-2 (genital herpes) infections. Women may also experience a change in the vagina’s Ph levels, reducing vaginal acid levels and compounding the problem, making women even more susceptible to infection.