What is Vaginal Dryness Treatment?

N. Madison
N. Madison

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.

Hormone cream.
Hormone cream.

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.

If vaginal dryness is most noticeable during or after intercourse, a woman may need to start using lubricant.
If vaginal dryness is most noticeable during or after intercourse, a woman may need to start using lubricant.

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.

Extending foreplay may help increase a woman's natural lubrication.
Extending foreplay may help increase a woman's natural lubrication.

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.

Kegel exercises may be helpful in treating vaginal dryness.
Kegel exercises may be helpful in treating vaginal dryness.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

donasmrs

I never thought that I would have vaginal dryness but I guess it's inevitable after menopause. When the estrogen is gone, so are the fluids. Thankfully, there are lubricants. I don't know what I would do without them.

SarahGen

@fify-- You need to see your gynecologist for treatment of vaginal dryness. It could be a yeast infection or a skin infection. It could also be allergies to laundry detergent or pantyliners. So the treatment depends on the cause and you need to see your doctor for the diagnosis.

If it's an infection, you can use creams to treat it. If it's allergies, then it will be enough to change your detergent and switch to mild, hypoallergenic products. Even chafing and tight underwear can cause skin dryness and irritation. It happened to me before because of frequent shaving and tight underwear made of synthetic fabric.

It's probably a good idea to stop using perfumed soaps and pantyliners right away. Wear underwear made of one hundred percent cotton and change it once a day.

fify

What can I do for dryness on outer vaginal skin?

I have vaginal discharge, it's just the outer skin that's very dry. It's flaky and itches. It's not menopause dryness, I'm not in menopause.

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