Do you often experience unbearable burning down there? Does your genital area feel pain during intercourse? Do you experience vaginal discomfort or irritation now and then? If your answer to all these questions is YES, then it is because of vaginal atrophy.
It happens when the estrogen level in the body decreases. Estrogen is essential to keep the tissue lining moisturized and healthy. It is also very crucial for regular periods and healthy pregnancy. Thus, when the level declines, the vagina becomes dry and becomes less elastic.
Vaginal atrophy can happen at any age for numerous reasons. According to statistics, 17% of women face dryness from the age of 18 to 50. Likewise, one out of three women suffers from this condition during and after menopause.
Cause of Vaginal Dryness
The estrogen level can decrease due to any of the following reasons:
- Cancer treatment (including chemotherapy and radiation)
- Anti-estrogen medicines for endometriosis.
- Surgical removal of the ovaries
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Stress and anxiety
- Using antihistamines
- Flammer syndrome
- Vaginal Douching
Besides these, there could be an underlying health condition that might affect the estrogen level. Nonetheless, one sure thing is that atrophy/dryness is not at all healthy.
Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it might become a matter of great concern. Therefore, you should seek medical help immediately.
- Discomfort with urination
- Pain during physical activities or exercising
- Burning or irritation
- Urinary tract infections or any other vaginal infection
- A tightening of the vaginal and pelvic muscles
Treatment of Vaginal Dryness
Fortunately, there are several effective and nonhormonal treatments available for vaginal atrophy. You can use every treatment separately or combine them for better results.
- Consult your doctor
First of all, you should talk with your doctor or gynecologist. Explain to them your condition and every symptom. They might do a pelvic examination to check for redness or any underlying cause of discomfort. They might also conduct a pap test by removing some cells from vagina walls.
You might feel uncomfortable talking about all these things. However, remember that it is for your well-being. That’s why you must disclose everything to your doctor. After proper knowledge and tests, they can suggest medicine or creams ease the symptoms.
- Use cream
Another remedy is to use cream to lubricate the affected area. If you are experiencing these symptoms during your menopause (which is very common), you should look for menopause relief self-care kits. These generally include products that will help you with dryness, hot flashes, and other menopause symptoms.
Nonetheless, make sure that the product you are using does not include any artificial color or fragrance as it might cause more irritation. So, make sure to read the ingredients of the product before using it.
- Take proper rest
Last but not least, you need to take proper rest. Avoid exercising or any physical activity for some time. And eat nutritious and healthy food. Also, you might need to bring some changes in your life, such as quitting smoking and alcohol. In addition to this, don’t forget or skip Annual Mammograms. It will help detect any severe health condition and timely treatment. All these things will help in improving your condition.
Vaginal dryness is common, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. Thus, if you experience any of the symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.