Vaginal Dryness, also known as vaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis, is a common and distressing condition which can affect women at any stage of their adult life, causing embarrassment, a sense of loss and, at times, extreme physical discomfort. A comfortable, naturally moist vagina which responds to sexual arousal with a surge of vaginal lubrication, can feel like a woman’s birth right. The loss of this, temporarily or otherwise, can come as a shock, and be capable of undermining a woman’s sense of her innate womanliness and desirability.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness:-
Vaginal walls naturally have a thin layer of mucus. This mucus which is created by glands at the neck of the womb and governed by the body’s production of estrogen lubricates the vagina to keep it comfortable and reduce friction during sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness develops when there’s not enough moisture down there. Estrogen is the hormone that controls vaginal moisture, but it naturally fluctuates throughout life. Other health issues, like depression and certain immune conditions, can also affect estrogen production and vaginal moisture. Along with menopause, some of the most common causes of vaginal dryness include:-
* Childbirth and breastfeeding-
During pregnancy, estrogen levels increase steadily. But once a woman gives birth, her estrogen levels drop. Most women can expect low estrogen levels for the first few months after giving birth, and breastfeeding may keep these levels low for several months or years. This decline in estrogen can lead to a lack of vaginal area lubrication and vaginal discharge, as well as a loss of sexual desire.
* Ovary removal-
During a woman’s reproductive years, the ovaries produce most of the body’s estrogen. The ovaries continue producing estrogen, but production tapers off with the arrival of menopause.
So if you have your ovaries surgically removed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer (a procedure known as an oophorectomy), the body no longer has its main source of estrogen production. As a result, women who have their ovaries removed enter menopause right away—and may experience vaginal dryness as one of the possible symptoms.
* Anti-estrogen medications-
Some gynecological conditions, like fibroids or endometriosis, are linked to high estrogen hormone levels. If you have one of these conditions, your provider may recommend anti-estrogen medications. These medications can help bring your vaginal symptoms under control, but anti-estrogen medications trigger unpleasant side effects in some women—including vaginal dryness.
* Antidepressant side effects-
A class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, can cause side effects related to sexual dysfunction—including lack of normal vaginal lubrication.
* Lifestyle habits-
Smoking or using tobacco products could cause vaginal dryness. Smokers may be more likely to start menopause earlier than nonsmokers, triggering hormonal changes that might cause vaginal dryness.
Symptoms of Vaginal dryness:- Symptoms can include:
* soreness, itching or burning in your vagina or/and vulva
* pain during sex
* spotting after sex (always see a doctor about this to rule out other conditions)
* changes to your vaginal discharge – it may be more watery and slightly smelly
* dryness and shrinkage of the skin of your vulva – your genitals may look different
The pain and discomfort in your vagina and vulva may also put you off sex, which can lead to loss of sex drive (libido) and relationship problems.
Menopause vaginal dryness is often part of a wider condition called urogenital atrophy or genitourinary syndrome of the menopause (GSM), where the tissues of your bladder are also affected. This can cause symptoms such as needing to pee more urgently and often, and frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs), as well as changes to your pelvic floor. So if you’re getting other symptoms, it’s a good idea to speak to a consultant. CONTACT
Disclaimer : Sandeep Kumar and Anupam Vasudeva are not GP, they have Ayurveda medical degree from India where it is considered equal to any other medical degree. This qualification is recognized in Australia by vetassess governing body as Complementary Health Therapists. Life Line Ayurvedic Herbal Clinic does not claim to cure a disease or terminal illness and does not create any unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment. Ayurvedic medicines and treatments are generally considered to be safe but rarely may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases. We recommend seeking urgent medical attention in the case of an adverse reaction. This website provides you with information. You must contact your Ayurvedic or another health professional before you apply them. Read More