Vaginal dryness often occurs when there’s a decrease in the natural moisture within the vagina. The common culprit? Hormonal changes, particularly low levels of hormones like oestrogen and progesterone.

Within the vagina, there are receptors for oestrogen and progesterone, and these hormones play a vital role in maintaining vaginal health. However, as we journey through life, particularly during menopause or the lead-up to it, known as the perimenopause, our ovaries produce less oestrogen and progesterone. This hormonal shift can lead to thinning of the vaginal lining, loss of collagen support, and decreased elasticity. The result? Pain during sex, itching, burning, and that uncomfortable dryness down below.

Other Instances of Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations aren’t exclusive to menopause. They can also occur after childbirth, during breastfeeding, with certain medications, or during cancer treatment.

Available Treatments for Vaginal Dryness

The good news is, there are treatments available to help alleviate vaginal dryness.

Over-the-Counter Options

  • Vaginal Moisturisers: These work to build up moisture inside and around the vagina over time.  They come in different formulations – water-soluble and oil-based.
  • Lubricants: These are great for reducing discomfort during penetrative sex so for immediate use . They come in different formulations – water-soluble and oil-based.

Note: Oil-based lubricants can weaken condoms, so it’s best to stick with water-soluble options if you’re using condoms.

Hormonal Treatments

For those seeking more targeted relief, hormonal treatments like vaginal oestrogen can be a game-changer. They come in various forms – pessaries, rings, or creams – and can be used alongside moisturisers and lubricants. Studies have shown they’re safe and pose no significant risk of breast cancer.

Important: Oestrogen creams can affect condom integrity, so it’s essential to communicate with your healthcare provider about the best options for you.

Remember, there’s no shame in seeking help for vaginal dryness. Your comfort and well-being matter.

Throughout June and July, we will be running the complete series on Vaginal health. So if you have found this blog useful why not check out our videos here and follow us on Instagram for insightful and helpful tips on female health.

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