Menopause vaginal dryness can result in painful sex, itching and burning and other symptoms we may not necessarily associate with menopause, including urinary symptoms.

Vaginal Dryness

What is the association between vaginal dryness and menopause?

In Vaginal Dryness After Menopause: How To Treat It? published 07 December 2022, the author explains:

Menopause and Vaginal Dryness

“Vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause, also known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. With this condition, vaginal tissues become thinner and more easily irritated — resulting from the natural decline in your body’s estrogen levels during menopause”.

In Looking After Yourself: Sex and Relationships – What Can Affect Your Sex Life? Dry Vagina and Pain During Sex the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health explain:

“The loss of oestrogen at menopause causes changes in the tissues of your vagina and vulva. This means your vagina becomes drier and less elastic, which can lead to vaginal irritation, vaginal atrophy and pain during sex”.

Common or Not

How common is vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA)?

On page one in Could Altering Vaginal Microbiome Treat Vaginal Dryness and Painful Sex During Menopause? published 25 January 2023, according to the NAMS:

“It is estimated that VVA occurs in approximately 50% of menopausal women”.

Vaginal Dryness Treatment Options

What are some vaginal dryness treatment options?

In Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options, published December 2022, the North American Menopause Society elaborate on:

  • “Nonhormone Remedies
    • Vaginal Lubricants…
    • Vaginal Moisturizers…
    • Regular Sexual Stimulation…
    • Expanding Your Views of Sexual Pleasure…
    • Vaginal Dilators…
    • Pelvic Floor Exercises…
  • Vaginal Hormone Therapy…
    • Low-dose local estrogen…
    • FDA-approved low-dose vaginal estrogen products…
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA; Prasterone)
    • Low-dose vaginal estrogen or DHEA and a history breast or uterine cancer…
  • Systemic Estrogen Therapy
  • Other Therapies…
    • Ospemifene
    • Vaginal Laser Therapy…”.

Vaginal Oestrogen

How effective is vaginal oestrogen?

In the Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause, first published online 10 June 2022, one of the recommendations is:

  • “Low-dose and ultra-low dose vaginal oestrogen preparations can be taken by perimenopausal and menopausal women experiencing genitourinary symptoms and continued for as long as required. All vaginal oestrogen preparations have been shown to be effective in this context and there is no requirement to combine vaginal oestrogens with systemic progestogen treatment for endometrial protection, as low-dose and ultra-low dose vaginal oestrogen preparations do not result in significant systemic absorption or endometrial hyperplasia”.

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have vaginal dryness?

On page three in Vaginal Dryness: What To Do Next the (British) Women’s Health Concern explain:

“Recognising that vaginal dryness is normal and common is the first step to helping yourself. The next is to talk to your doctor, who can recommend a treatment to suit you”.

On page two in Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options the NAMS note:

Notes: Vaginal and vulvar symptoms not related to menopause include yeast infections, allergic reactions, and certain skin conditions, so consult your healthcare professional if symptoms do not improve with treatment”.

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Last Updated: 15 February 2024 – Last Revised: 14 February 2024