After you reach menopause, there are numerous problems that can come, including vaginal dryness. Despite being a common condition, this can be a problem for your comfort and also sex life. The declining estrogen level in your body can cause your vagina to dry and lose its elasticity. Usually, the signs start to show years after the actual menopause, and are usually noticeable in symptoms such as itchiness and pain or burning sensation when you have sex. If you do not deal with it, you can have continuous discomfort and problem in your sex life.
Treatments for Vaginal Dryness after Menopause
Since vaginal dryness is not a rare problem for women who reach menopause, doctors usually already have common treatments and prescriptions to treat this condition. Here are common treatments for vaginal dryness:
- Vaginal moisturizers or cream.
This can be bought at store, but there are also prescribed products. This product can give lasting effect for 3 to 4 days per one application, and it can bring relief to itchiness or irritation in the vagina.
- Vaginal lubricant.
Lubricant gives only short-term effect, which is usually around 20 minutes after application. This product is great for mild vaginal dryness, and is usually applied before sexual acts. Doctors can prescribe lubricant based on your condition, but there are also other products available at stores. There are water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based lubricants brands; the most recommended ones are usually the water-based and silicone-based.
- Estrogen replacement therapy.
This treatment is done using estrogen pills or special vaginal ring that can help increasing blood flow to the vagina. This is rarely recommended because there are certain risks involved, such as possible increased risk of breast cancer. However, if your vaginal dryness after menopause is very severe, you can discuss about the possibility of trying this treatment. However, doctors usually have strict policy about risky procedures, so do not expect too much.
Aside from medical products and therapy, you must also understand other treatments to cope with vaginal dryness, especially if you do not want to depend too much on medical products.
Treating Vaginal Dryness without Prescriptions
If you want to try coping with vaginal dryness without any prescriptions, you can use vaginal lubricants or moisturizer from drugstores. However, there are other ways you can do such as:
- Using simple toilet paper and feminine pads.
Toilet paper and feminine pads should be simple, without any perfume or scent. Additional scent or perfume on such products can cause allergic reactions and make you feel more uncomfortable. Also, the pads or toilet papers should not have any colorful patterns, just in case you develop allergic reactions to the coloring agent.
- Use soft detergent, avoid scented product.
Use soft, hypoallergenic detergent that does not contain additional perfume, and avoid clinging products such as fabric softener. They can cause irritation and itchiness down there, making it worse for your condition.
- Use soap and bubble bath that are safe for you.
If you often experience itchiness or redness despite already using soft detergent and plain toilet paper, maybe the problem is in the soap or bubble bath. Some people can develop reactions toward specific products, which may be too harsh for their skin. Try changing the brands and see if there is any change.
Finally, when it comes to having sex with your partner, do not hesitate to ask for prolonged foreplay. This can help with vaginal dryness and encourage vaginal lubrication for more pleasurable sexual act.