Vaginal Dryness Specialist in Austin, TX
Vaginal Dryness OBGYN in Austin, TX
Vaginal Dryness Q & A
What is vaginal dryness?
Your vagina produces natural lubricating fluids that keep the vaginal walls hydrated and elastic.
The hormone estrogen, which comes from your ovaries, stimulates fluid production and elasticity. However, if your estrogen levels drop, lubricating fluid production slows down, causing vaginal dryness.
Estrogen levels are most likely to fall as you reach menopause. As your body gets to the end of its reproductive years, usually in your mid to late forties, your ovaries stop producing as much estrogen and progesterone (the female sex hormones).
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause.
What causes vaginal dryness?
In addition to menopause, other causes of falling estrogen levels and vaginal dryness include:
- Treatments for fibroids and endometriosis
- Antidepressant medication side effects
- Cancer treatment
- Medications for colds and allergies
- Oophorectomy (surgical ovary removal)
- Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder)
- Douching (washing the vagina)
Vaginal dryness can cause itching and burning, making the area very uncomfortable. The lack of lubrication makes it painful to have sex and can impact your relationship.
How is vaginal dryness diagnosed?
When you visit Women’s Health Domain, your symptoms and a physical exam confirm vaginal dryness, so the diagnosis is straightforward. However, your OB/GYN also needs to find out why you have this problem.
They look at your vagina closely to see if the tissues are thin or if there’s any inflammation and take a sample of cells for lab testing. Blood tests can measure your hormone levels and pick up other health problems.
How is vaginal dryness treated?
One of the most common treatments for vaginal dryness is estrogen cream or a vaginal estrogen pill. The cream or pill increases your estrogen levels, stimulating natural lubricant production. Your OB/GYN at Women’s Health Domain could also fit a flexible vaginal ring that releases estrogen steadily over three months.
The alternative is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), where you take regular doses of hormone pills, use skin patches, or have an injection or implant. These options might be better if menopause is causing you continual problems like hot flashes, night sweats, depression and anxiety, or other distressing problems.
If you don’t need HRT, vaginal estrogen reduces your risk of side effects. For some women, including those with breast cancer or who are pregnant or breastfeeding, all products containing estrogen are unsuitable. Alternatives include moisturizers specially designed for the vagina and vaginal lubricants to prevent pain during sex.
To find a solution for your vaginal dryness, call Women’s Health Domain today or book an appointment online.