Vaginal dryness is a common symptom that affects as many as 17% of women and people assigned female at birth. After menopause, dryness in the vaginal area is reported by up to 50% of people. Symptoms of vaginal dryness can include burning, itching, discomfort wearing underwear, pain during sexual activity, and even recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). Understanding the underlying causes of vaginal dryness can help you move one step closer to relief.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
The following are potential causes of vaginal dryness, each requiring individual care and treatment:
- Hormonal Changes — Changes due to menopause, health conditions, and medications can all affect your vagina’s ability to lubricate, leading to dryness and irritation.
- Menopause — Menopause lowers the level of estrogen in your body, which can thin, weaken, and inflame the vaginal walls. This condition is known as vaginal atrophy, and it can cause ongoing dryness.
- Birth Control Pills — Many hormonal birth control pills can cause vaginal dryness by altering the production of estrogen. This can lead to an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, which can influence moisture levels.
- Diabetes — High blood sugar levels from diabetes can cause vaginal dryness by restricting blood vessels and circulation.
- Prescription Medications — Some prescription medications may alter your hormones or cause dryness and discomfort.
- Using Products With Fragrances — Fragrances, perfumes, and scented body products are acidic, and they may dry out your vulvar area. This can lead to vaginal dryness that causes excessive irritation. You should only use products designed for the vagina, such as washes and moisturizers.
How to Treat Vaginal Dryness
There are several options for treating vaginal dryness, but the right solution will ultimately require getting to the root cause of your symptoms. Bloodwork, for example, can help identify hormonal fluctuations or low levels and make it easier to find a proper treatment.
Additionally, vaginal moisturizers and unscented body washes can help hydrate the genitalia and alleviate burning, itching, and irritation.
A non-surgical treatment option is the MonaLisa Touch®, which uses an advanced fractional CO2 laser to treat vaginal dryness and atrophy, and restore comfort and confidence.
Schedule an appointment with the Women’s Wellness Institute of Dallas to explore your options. You can also call our office at 214-544-9146. When you visit us, you will meet with a compassionate team who will listen to your concerns, understand your symptoms, and help you find the right care for your needs.