Vaginal Dryness

Dry Cracked Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a very common condition amongst post-menopausal women and women who have had their ovaries surgically removed.  However, vaginal dryness can affect all women and women of any age with the prevalence thought to be 13% to 31% in women overall.

The percentage of postmenopausal women with vaginal dryness is approximately 50% to 60%.

Dryness of the vagina is sometimes referred to as vaginal atropy, vulvovaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis.  Atrophic vaginitis includes other symptoms but dryness tends to be the most significant symptom.

Other symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include itching, burning, discomfort in the vagina, burning or pain upon urination, pain during sexual intercourse, and spotting during intercourse.

One of the main female sexual hormones, estrogen, is responsible maintaining several aspects of the overall health of the vagina.  This includes maintaining vaginal moisture, sustaining the vaginal lining and keeping vaginal tissues supple and pliable.

When estrogen levels within the female body decline women can experience vaginal dryness and other effects.

Anxiety can also lead to vaginal dryness.

Although vaginal atrophy affects 50 to 60% of women it is believed that only approximately 25% of women that are affected seek any form of treatment.  Women are either embarrassed to discuss these intimate details with their medical practitioner or they view these symptoms as just the natural process of aging.

Women need to know that there is no need to suffer with this condition and that treatment can greatly improve their quality of life.  It is worth the initial uneasiness of having to talk to someone about it.  it is very important to remember that doctors and specialists see all sorts of issues throughout their careers.  They do not consider these issues embarrassing.

Have the discussion with your medical practitioner.  You will be glad you did.

Treatment options for vaginal dryness include:

  • vaginal lubricants
  • vaginal moisturizers (e.g. hyaluronic acid)
  • vaginal estrogen supplementation (creams, tablets, rings)
  • other vaginal tablets
  • oral  medications

You may also wish to learn about vaginal odor or to learn about bacterial vaginosis.