Written by GLORIAH



Vaginal dryness and the menopause

8 mins

What is Vaginal Dryness?

Vaginal dryness is a commonly experienced symptom among women, particularly during menopause. It occurs when there is a lack of moisture or lubrication in the vagina, leading to discomfort and potential pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness occurs due to a decrease in oestrogen levels, which can impact the health and flexibility of the vaginal tissues.

The symptoms of vaginal dryness can vary in severity and may include itching, burning, and irritation. In addition, it can cause other symptoms related to the genitourinary system, such as frequent urination and recurring urinary tract infections.

There are several treatment options available for managing vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), particularly low-dose vaginal oestrogen, is commonly recommended for women experiencing moderate to severe symptoms. Additional options include over-the-counter vaginal lubricants and oils, which offer temporary relief by increasing moisture and reducing friction during sexual activity.

It is recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment plan for individual needs. They can offer additional support and advice on managing vaginal dryness and enhancing overall quality of life.

Experiencing Vaginal Dryness? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Vaginal dryness is a common symptom experienced by many women during the menopause. The decline in oestrogen levels that occurs during this stage of life can lead to a decrease in vaginal lubrication, resulting in dryness and discomfort. Oestrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and elasticity of the vaginal tissues, as well as stimulating blood flow to the area. When oestrogen levels plummet, the vagina may become dry, less elastic, and more prone to irritation and inflammation. This can affect both sexual activity and overall quality of life for postmenopausal women. It is important to note that vaginal dryness can also be caused by other factors, such as certain health conditions or medications, so it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and discuss treatment options.

The cause is often low hormone levels related to menopause.

The cause of menopause and its associated symptoms is often attributed to low hormone levels, particularly oestrogen. Oestrogen plays a crucial role in the female reproductive system, regulating the menstrual cycle and maintaining the health of the vagina. During menopause, oestrogen levels gradually decline, leading to various symptoms such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, and itchy skin. These symptoms can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life and may interfere with sexual activity.

However, there are several treatment options available to relieve menopausal symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT involves using medications that contain hormones to replace the ones the body no longer produces in adequate amounts. It effectively restores estrogen levels and can help alleviate symptoms like vaginal dryness. In addition to medical treatments, there are also natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can provide relief, such as using vaginal lubricants, engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and managing stress levels. It’s essential for women experiencing menopause to consult with their healthcare professionals to discuss the most suitable treatment options for their specific needs.

Symptoms of vaginal dryness

– Dryness and lack of lubrication in the vaginal area

– Itching and irritation in and around the vagina

– Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse or penetration

– Vaginal soreness or rawness

– Burning sensation in the vagina

– Urinary symptoms such as increased frequency, urgency, and recurrent urinary tract infections

Vaginal dryness can also be accompanied by other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats. It can impact a woman’s quality of life, affecting her physical and emotional well-being. Some women may also experience dry skin and itchiness in other areas of the body, including the genital area.

If you are experiencing symptoms of vaginal dryness, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment options. They may recommend hormone replacement therapy, including low-dose vaginal oestrogen, to alleviate symptoms. There are also natural remedies such as using water-based lubricants during sexual intercourse, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding harsh soaps and perfumed products that can irritate sensitive skin.


– Vaginal moisturizers are a recommended solution for vaginal dryness as they help maintain moisture within the vagina.

– Use water-based lubricants can be used before sexual activity. They can be applied in and around the vagina, on the penis, on fingers, or on sex toys if being used.

– Use fragrance-free soaps and washes when cleaning the vaginal area.

– Consider incorporating more foreplay into your sexual experiences to enhance arousal and enjoyment.

vaginal dryness


– It is important to use moisturizers specifically designed for the intended area and avoid using products that are not suitable for the vagina.

– It is not recommended to use perfumed soap, washes, or douches in and around the vaginal area.

– It is not recommended to use creams or lotions such as petroleum jelly inside the vagina, as it may lead to an infection.

A comparable effect with vaginal oestrogens has been noted regarding alleviating the symptoms of vaginal atrophy and dyspareunia, improving the vaginal epithelium and pH of the vagina.

What is vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy is a common symptom of GSM (Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause) which affects the vaginal walls and can cause discomfort and soreness. The condition typically begins around three years into menopause but can start earlier. This is because when cells in the vagina are most lacking in hydration, lubrication decreases and other symptoms become prominent. Up to 50% of women experience some degree of these symptoms such as burning or itching sensations, pelvic floor muscle tightness, bleeding, redness, frequent urinary tract infections or pain during intercourse.

Vaginal atrophy is easily treated with oestrogen creams or tablets to help improve hydration levels in the vagina as well as reduce any associated inflammation. Options like bioidentical hormones may also be available for those who wish to go down a more natural route. Additionally lifestyle changes like adding exercises that target weakened pelvic muscles can bring great relief from certain symptoms.

How common is vaginal atrophy (GSM)?

Estimates suggest that up to 50% of post-menopausal women will experience its symptoms. This condition includes dryness in the vaginal area, which directly leads to decreased lubrication and discomfort during intercourse. It can also lead to itching in the genital area, burning sensations when passing urine, and painful burning during urination. Over time, a woman experiencing GSM may notice thinning, shrinking or inflammation in the vulva or vaginal walls due to lack of oestrogen in her system.

In addition to the uncomfortable physical symptoms, vaginal atrophy can have serious impacts on mental health and wellbeing due to how it affects sex life and intimacy with partners. Women may feel embarrassment or uncertainty about how their partners will react because of decreased lubrication and pain during sexual intercourse. Fortunately, vaginal atrophy is usually very treatable with medications that increase oestrogen levels or low dose laser therapy that stimulates collagen production in the vagina. With proper treatment options available, many women are able to manage this condition successfully so they can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on Vaginal Atrophy, find our dedicated article here.


Written by GLORIAH

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