Nearly half of all women between the ages of 40 and 59 suffer from vaginal
dryness at some point. For perimenopausal and menopausal women, particularly
women weaning off HRT, vaginal dryness is often acute, and ranks as one of the
top ten problems afflicting menopausal women.
High levels of stress are often
correlated with vaginal dryness, and it is common among postpartum women. Even
women on HRT continue to experience bothersome symptoms of vaginal dryness and
irritation. Following menopause these symptoms can become increasingly
vaginal dryness often explains female sexual dysfunction because a lack of
vaginal lubrication can make intercourse painful. Women who suffer from vaginal
dryness often dread intercourse and avoid sex as a result. It is no wonder many
women suffering vaginal dryness experience a drop-off in libido.
Although vaginal dryness during perimenopause and menopause is extremely
common, it is not inevitable. When hormonal imbalance is the cause of vaginal
dryness, there are simple steps you can take to improve your natural vaginal
lubrication. We’ll take a look at these steps below, but first let’s address the
root causes of vaginal dryness.
What causes vaginal dryness?
- Declining estrogen levels: The most common cause of vaginal dryness is
declining estrogen production, which leads to thinning and drying of the
vaginal wall. Other factors include reduced muscle tone and the longer time
needed for sexual arousal that is so common in perimenopause.
- Underlying medical conditions: While declining estrogen is the common
cause of vaginal dryness, it is essential to check for any underlying
medical conditions. It can be a side effect of medical conditions such as
Sjögren’s disease. You should definitely seek medical advice if your
symptoms are severe and prolonged, or if they are unresponsive to simple
efforts to alleviate them.
- Emotional issues: Likewise, if you are depressed or under tremendous
stress, you’ll benefit from counseling. Dryness and lack of arousal can also
be a signal of unresolved problems in a relationship. None of our
recommendations can substitute for better communication with your partner,
but you may want to consider each one of the following steps and how it
could relate back to underlying causes.