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If you’ve noticed an irritating itch or sex has become painful, you may be suffering from vaginal dryness, a common condition that impacts many women as they age. At Elite Gynecology, Dr. Guichard and Dr. Molly McBride understands the underlying causes of vaginal dryness and works to find the right solution for you. If you live in New York or work near Manhattan, call Elite Gynecology today to schedule your appointment. You can even book online to get one step closer to enjoying intimacy again.
While vaginal dryness obviously impacts the moisture of your vagina, it can cause a range of other symptoms that make you feel uncomfortable. It may make your whole genital area feel inflamed or itchy and create a burning sensation when you urinate.
What’s more, vaginal dryness can greatly impact your sex life, leading to symptoms like:
Beyond these symptoms, vaginal dryness can also cause complications, increasing your risk of developing a bacterial or yeast infection. It can also cause cracks and sores to form in your vagina.
These problems, along with the pain associated with sex when you have vaginal dryness, can even impact your relationship.
In most cases, chronic vaginal dryness results from a drop in estrogen, the female sex hormone. When estrogen levels are normal, your vagina creates lubrication, the tissues are elastic, and the right level of pH is naturally maintained. Yet when these levels drop due to menopause (or other causes), the vagina suffers.
If you’re not going through the transition to menopause, vaginal dryness can result from:
As your vaginal dryness becomes worse, your vaginal tissues begin to weaken, becoming thinner and tighter. They stretch less (leading to the pain associated with intercourse) and may rip, tear, or bleed.
The severity of your vaginal dryness determines the course of treatment Dr. McBride recommends. If your case is mild, she may recommend supplementing with an over-the-counter lubrication during intercourse or using a daily vaginal moisturizing cream.
In more severe cases, Dr. McBride may recommend hormone replacement therapy. By increasing the amount of estrogen in your body, your menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness, improve. If vaginal dryness is your only menopausal complaint, a vaginal estrogen supplement can reduce some of the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy.
In other cases, cutting-edge laser treatments may improve the health of your vaginal tissue and, therefore, improve your vaginal dryness. These treatments create micro-abrasions, which in turn stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, proteins that strengthen your skin.
To learn more about treatments for vaginal dryness, call Elite Gynecology today or book your appointment online.