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Vaginal Dryness; Causes and Treatments

middle-aged-woman-talking-to-doctorVaginal dryness is one of the most common complaints we hear from our patients.  It’s normal to not really pay much attention to the natural lubrication that occurs within the vagina, that is, until it stops, and suddenly you realize how important it is.  Oftentimes, lowered estrogen levels are to blame for your dryness, but there can be other culprits, too.  Let’s talk about some reasons why vaginal dryness might occur.

Menopause and/or Hormone Fluctuations:  As you age, your body begins to produce less estrogen.  Also, your estrogen levels fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle.  Additionally, certain birth control options can affect your estrogen levels, causing dryness.

Stress:  Severe or persistent stress can affect your body’s hormones.  During stressful times your body needs more estrogen than it’s making, and this can cause temporary dryness.

Dehydration:  Dry skin, cracked lips, itchy skin, and dryness inside the vagina (and the outer labia) are all signs of dehydration.  It’s important that you are replacing electrolytes by drinking a variety of liquids, not just water.   Coconut water is a great choice.

Medications:  Some medications, like antihistamines, can cause dryness.  When you stop the medication, vaginal lubrication should return to normal levels.  Look through your medicine cabinet and see if there’s anything you take that could be causing dryness.

Smoking:  Smoking cigarettes has been associated with lowered estrogen levels, which could be contributing to your dryness.

Temporary episodes of vaginal dryness are normal and usually don’t last long.  However, if vaginal dryness is severe, persistent, or bothersome, that’s when it’s time to talk to your doctor.  If we can make modifications to your medication or lifestyle that will improve your vaginal health, we will try that first.  But you may want to consider MonaLisa Touch Chico, our newest treatment, for persistent vaginal dryness caused from lowered estrogen levels.  Just 3 quick treatments provides relief for about a year!

 

Posted in Birth Control, Hormones, MonaLisa Touch Chico, Side-Effects, Symptoms, Treatments

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