Vaginal dryness is one of the most common and undesirable symptoms elicited by the decline in estrogen production that accompanies menopause. This dryness can cause women to experience pain or light bleeding during intercourse; an itchy, burning or stinging sensation; or urinary urgency or frequency. Vaginal dryness can also make a woman more prone to urinary tract and vaginal infections.
Estrogen is responsible for keeping the vagina healthy and lubricated with a thin, clear layer of fluid. When a woman’s estrogen levels decrease, usually as a result of menopause, this fluid disappears, as well. In addition to menopause, estrogen levels – leading to vaginal dryness — are caused by several other issues too. These include:
Many women are uncomfortable to discuss vaginal dryness with their doctors, which is a mistake, as it is very treatable. Dr. Collins begins by discussing medical history and lifestyle with each patient, followed by a pelvic exam. From here she discusses the various available treatment options. Though these vary among patients, some of the most often recommended are:
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