Menopausal Dryness – What it is and How to Deal With it?

  • Many women entering menopause face vaginal dryness at some point.  Some women experience dryness even post-menopause.  Vaginal dryness is caused by the various hormonal changes in the body as menopause approaches.  This can result in pain and discomfort. (Information Credit – https://comfitcare.co.za/menopause)

     

    What Causes Menopausal Dryness?

     

    A fluid is produced by the mucous membrane of the vagina which is a line of defense against infection.  This fluid is acidic in nature and aids in protecting the vagina from fungal and bacterial infections.  Oestrogen encourages the membrane to produce this fluid but as menopause approaches, oestrogen levels dip and the fluid production dwindles.  This causes the dryness and can result in fungal and bacterial infections.

     

    Dryness is one of the most common symptoms of menopause and can become evident at any stage of the menopausal cycle.  It often leaves a woman disturbed due to the sudden changes in her body and this can significantly impact their sexual health.

    Symptoms of Menopausal Dryness

    There are various symptoms that indicate dryness and the need for a lubricant.  Some of these include:

    1. Dryness, Itchiness and Burning – in the absence of lubrication, the vagina becomes dry and the increased friction can lead to the thinning of the membrane.

    2. Itching – Itchiness can be either external or internal. The external itching is caused as the tissues lose their protective and acidic moisture.

    3. Enhanced Infection Susceptibility – As the fluid production decreases, the acidity decreases and bacterial and fungal infections are more likely to occur.

    Treatment Options for Menopausal Dryness

    There are three major treatments:

    1. Local Oestrogen Application – This involves the application of rings, creams and pills etc under medical supervision.

    2. Personal Lubrication – Using lubrications is an easy yet effective way of dealing with this issue.

    3. Moisturising Lotions – Using moisturizers on a daily basis for regular hydration is a great way to keep dryness at bay.

     

    Why Use Lubricants?

     

    Lubricants and moisturizers protect and rehydrate the sensitive tissues in a natural way, protecting the area from infections and aiding in restoring the acidity of the region.  It helps in relieving any dryness and itchiness.  Remember to ensure that your lubricant is water based, fragrance free, Paraben free and approved by a gynaecologist.