Vaginal Dryness

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Vaginal dryness is a key symptom of menopause. When women reach the age of 50, their hormone levels start to change which affects several bodily functions. This stage is called menopause. It is characterized by a drop in two important hormones: estrogen and progesterone.

 

These two hormones normally regulate reproductive functions such as egg development, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. But they also carry out other tasks in the body. For example, estrogen contributes to cognition, mood, and bone health.

 

Estrogen also has effects on the female genital system. Estrogen stimulates lubrication in the vaginal canal which is important for sexual intercourse. Other hormonal effects include thickening of the vaginal wall and maintenance of its acidity. Estrogen plays a role in the thickening of the inner wall of both the vagina and the uterus. It also lowers the vaginal pH to 3.8-4.5, making it an acidic environment.

As estrogen levels start to decrease during menopause, women experience many changes in their genital area. One of the most problematic menopausal symptoms is vaginal dryness. Because estrogen normally keeps the vagina lubricated, when its levels drop during menopause, women experience dryness. 

 

Also known as vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness can lead to irritation, itching, and inflammation. This can increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Additionally, the decline in estrogen results in a thinner vaginal wall. When the vaginal wall becomes thinner and less elastic, it can get easily irritated.

 

Women also experience discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse due to the lack of sufficient lubrication. Painful intercourse is called dyspareunia. It can negatively affect a woman’s experience of sex, resulting in gradual loss of sexual desire over time. Less frequent sexual activity also further reduces vaginal lubrication.

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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used to counter the unpleasant effects of menopause. Women on HRT regimens receive estrogen or estrogen-progesterone combination therapy to replace their depleted hormones. 

 

Menopausal women can improve their estrogen levels with HRT. This treatment helps them relieve their menopausal symptoms. Women can also apply moisturizers and lubricants to boost their vaginal lubrication.

 

To treat vaginal dryness specifically, localized estrogen therapy can be used. A low-dose vaginal estrogen cream or tablet can help alleviate vaginal dryness. Vaginal estrogen treatment is also available in ring form. An estrogen ring is placed inside the vagina for 90 days, it releases estrogen to improve vaginal atrophy and dryness.

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Vaginal dryness affects 50 percent of menopausal women. However, studies have shown that women feel reluctant about disclosing vaginal dryness among their menopausal symptoms. They usually ignore it and rarely seek treatment for it, too. 

 

Although it might be uncomfortable for women to share this complaint, it is crucial to describe symptoms as clearly as possible. HRT specialists need to receive an accurate medical history before administering any treatments.

 

At Hormone Replacement Therapy, Dr. David Nazarian offers bioidentical HRT treatments for perimenopausal and menopausal women. Providing his services to Los Angeles residents, the clinic administers various HRT regimens to help women alleviate their menopausal symptoms.

Start your hormone replacement program today and become your best self

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