5 Ways to Manage Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a common problem for women as they get older. That’s because with age comes a drop in estrogen levels, and estrogen is necessary for maintaining the natural lubricants that keep the vagina healthy. When estrogen levels decline, our bodies don’t produce as much of these natural lubricants, leading to vaginal dryness and related symptoms.

You may not be able to turn back time to your more youthful years, but the good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to combat vaginal dryness. Here are five options to consider.

1. Hormone replacement therapy

Also called HRT, hormone replacement therapy uses bioidentical hormones to replace natural estrogen that’s been lost as a result of aging. Bioidentical hormones are chemically equivalent to the hormones your body produces, so they’re not associated with the side effects caused by HRT with older traditional products. Plus, HRT can be customized and adjusted based on your needs, so you get just what you need to combat your symptoms.

2. Topical estrogen creams

While HRT is a great solution for dealing with multiple symptoms of low estrogen, if vaginal dryness is your only symptom, a topical cream might be what you need. These creams are applied directly to your vagina, and the estrogen they contain is absorbed right into the vaginal tissues. 

Not crazy about applying a cream to your vagina? No problem. Vaginal estrogen is also available in suppositories to make applications simpler. Our team can help you find just the right product.

3. MonaLisa Touch® vaginal rejuvenation

The MonaLisa Touch system is designed specifically for vaginal dryness and other symptoms of vaginal atrophy, like itching, burning, or discomfort. The system uses a wand-shaped device to administer bursts of laser energy. The energy is absorbed by the vaginal walls, where it triggers natural healing responses and restores vaginal lubricants. MonaLisa Touch treatments are performed right in our office in less than a half-hour, and they can be repeated to help you maintain optimal vaginal health.

4. Vaginal lubricants

If dryness symptoms really only bother you during sex, adding a lubricant to foreplay could be just the solution you’re looking for. Unlike topical hormone creams that are applied on a regular basis, lubricants are used to moisturize the vagina during or prior to sex. Today, there are lots of lubricant options available — even vegan products. 

Some words of advice: Stay away from “DIY” lubricants like baby oil and stick with products designed for the job. And if you use condoms, avoid oil-based lubricants, since these can weaken condoms and increase the risk of tears. Oil-based lubricants may also increase your risk of vaginal infections.

5. Switch-up your body care routine

Body washes, soaps, moisturizing lotions — even your laundry detergent — all these products can have an irritating effect on your sensitive vaginal tissues. Vaginal washes and douches are other good examples. Even though these products are “made” for vaginal care, they can wind up causing significant irritation and dryness. The same is true for waxing products, depilatory creams, and shaving products. 

If you have irritation, itching, or burning in addition to vaginal dryness, try switching out one product at a time to see if your symptoms improve. Always opt for the gentlest option when it comes to body care products, especially products used near your genital area. And remember — even products labeled “natural” or “gentle” may still cause irritation, depending on how sensitive your skin is.

Don’t suffer from vaginal dryness

At Bluebonnet OB/GYN, our team is dedicated to helping women in San Antonio, Texas, enjoy optimal health and wellness at every age. We offer a complete array of treatment options aimed at improving vaginal health for women in menopause, after childbirth, and at every other stage of life.

If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness or other related symptoms, we can help. Call Bluebonnet OB/GYN at 210-686-6171 and let us create a treatment solution that’s ideal for your lifestyle.

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