Vaginal dryness is a problem that may affect women at any age, though it is likely to occur in women as they age and go through menopause. It is marked not only by less-abundant lubrication in the vaginal canal, but also by other unpleasant symptoms. For example, a person with vaginal dryness may experience itching and burning in the area, and some women may also feel sore around the vaginal opening. Others may feel the need to urinate more frequently or experience pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness treatment may depend on the extent to which a woman has symptoms, her age, and its underlying cause. Treatment, however, often involves hormone creams, gels, and tablets; lubricants; and moisturizing creams.
Often, women will try vaginal dryness treatment at home before agreeing to hormonal treatments. If a woman’s symptoms are most noticeable during or after sexual intercourse, she may use a personal lubricant to make sex more comfortable. Using this type of lubricant may help reduce the friction that may make intercourse painful for a woman dealing with vaginal dryness. Additionally, taking more time with foreplay may help to increase a woman’s natural lubrication in some cases. This may not be enough, however, to ensure the woman’s comfort for a long period of time.
Sometimes, using a moisturizing cream that is safe for use in the sensitive genital area may be a part of vaginal dryness treatment. This type of cream may help women who experience soreness in the area even when they are not engaged in sexual activity. In some cases, doctors may recommend using a moisturizing cream at least a couple of times per week. A woman may do well to choose a cream that is free of fragrance and dyes to avoid further irritation to sensitive vaginal tissues.
A woman may also try Kegel exercises to treat vaginal dryness. When a woman performs Kegel exercises, she works to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These exercises may, in turn, help to stimulate blood flow to the area, which may have a positive effect on vaginal moisture.
After trying over-the-counter treatments with little-to-no success, a woman may turn to medication for vaginal dryness treatment. Often, this involves placing the hormone estrogen into the vagina in the form of a cream, ring, or tablet; oral estrogen treatment isn't usually as effective. Sometimes estrogen is also used in combination with the hormone progestin.