How and why to seek treatment for vaginal dryness
There are a number of issues in the fields of urology and urogynecology that frequently go unreported, whether due to the sufferer’s embarrassment or a perceived lack of urgency. One such issue is vaginal dryness.
Vaginal dryness is not life-threatening, but it can have negative effects on day-to-day life and relationships, especially when untreated. It is important, therefore, to open up a dialogue on this condition.
Read on to learn more about vaginal dryness and the current treatment options available.
What is vaginal dryness?
To determine if one is suffering from vaginal dryness (especially if it is chronic) it is important to understand what is causing the dryness.
The University of Florida explains the basics of vaginal dryness: “Estrogen keeps the tissues of the vagina lubricated and healthy. Normally, the lining of the vagina makes a clear, lubricating fluid. This fluid makes sexual intercourse more comfortable. It also helps decrease vaginal dryness. If estrogen levels drop off, the tissues of the vagina shrink and become thinner. This causes dryness and inflammation.”
Am I suffering from vaginal dryness?
While not every woman will experience the same exact symptoms when suffering from vaginal dryness, according to the study “Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause: a longitudinal study” published in the journal Menopause, there are some signs to help one discern if they are suffering from vaginal dryness.
“Women may report vaginal dryness as irritation, itching, or burning outside of sexual activities,” the study states. “Most women experience vaginal dryness, a perceived reduction in lubrication, during sexual activity. Vaginal dryness can lead to painful sex, low libido, and decreased sexual satisfaction.”
Some other symptoms one may experience from vaginal dryness include:
- Persistent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Light bleeding after intercourse
- Vaginal itching
Why am I suffering from vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness may be common for those going through menopause, but this is not the only age group of women experiencing this condition. In fact, this issue is a lot more prevalent than many assume. Nearly 17 percent of women from 18 to 50 years old have experienced vaginal dryness. This could be for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Undergoing some cancer treatments, including a hysterectomy and chemotherapy.
- Vigorous exercise
- Using certain hygiene products or medications
Can vaginal dryness be treated?
Just because the majority of women who experience vaginal dryness don’t pursue treatment doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. In fact, due to its effect on quality of life, including pain and the inability to partake in physical activities, seeking medical advice is recommended for vaginal dryness, especially if it is persistent. There are a number of treatment options currently available for vaginal dryness, and a physician can determine if a patient should receive treatment, and if so, which option will be best for them.
Topical estrogen therapy, which replaces some of the estrogen in the body, is a popular option for vaginal dryness. These products do have some side effects, including potential bleeding and breast pain, and those who have breast cancer or a history of certain cancers, are experiencing vaginal bleeding, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use these products.
Luckily, there is a painless and minimally invasive procedure, MonaLisa Touch, that is ideal for those who have gone through menopause or breast cancer treatment or for those who have abnormal vaginal walls. MonaLisa Touch also comes with no known side effects.
Using a fractional CO2, focused heat energy from the MonaLisa Touch treatment removes areas of unhealthy vaginal tissues and stimulates the remaining tissue. The procedure only takes five minutes, and a patient only needs to undergo three treatments at six weeks apart.
About Dr. Christi Pramudji
Dr. Christi is the first physician in West Houston to offer the MonaLisa Touch treatment, and she has helped numerous patients with vaginal dryness through this procedure. Dr. Christi has worked in private practice for nearly 20 years, making her a highly trusted and respected physician for treating not only vaginal dryness, but also conditions such as Urinary Tract Infections and incontinence. She completed her residency and General Surgery internship at Baylor college of Medicine.