While women in the older demographic (after menopause) commonly experience vaginal dryness, it can happen at any age. Common symptoms include itching or discomfort, abnormal discharge, and burning sensation. It can negatively affect a woman’s intimate life, as it can cause pain during intercourse.
If you’re experiencing dryness in your intimate area, you may be wondering what’s causing it. Continue reading to learn the common causes of vaginal dryness and what you can do to treat or improve it.
What causes vaginal dryness?
Decreased estrogen levels are the primary cause of dryness in the intimate area. Estrogen is a female sex hormone that helps keeps your vaginal tissues healthy. It maintains tissue elasticity and acidity, as well as the normal vaginal lubrication.
Estrogen levels start to drop as you approach menopause. When this happens, the tissues lining in the vagina becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. These changes are also known as vaginal atrophy. Menopause is the most common reason for reduced estrogen levels, but it can also happen due to:
- Cigarette smoking
- Perimenopause (menopause transition)
- Cancer treatments (like radiation and chemotherapy)
- Immune disorders
- Removal of ovaries (Oophorectomy)
- The use of anti-estrogen drugs
Other causes of vaginal dryness
- Antidepressants – Vaginal dryness, which can reduce libido, can be a side effect of taking antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are known to cause reduced sensitivity and vaginal dryness, though this can vary from person to person.
- Antihistamines – Some allergy and cold medications can have a drying effect in the body, which then affects vaginal lubrication. Vaginal dryness and troubling urinating are common side effects.
- Sjögren’s syndrome – This autoimmune disease causes inflammation and dryness in the body, including the intimate area. Many women with Sjögren’s syndrome report vaginal dryness more often than those without the condition.
- Irritants – Many hygiene products like soaps and feminine washes contain chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. They can sometimes cause irritation and sensitivity in the area, contributing to vaginal dryness.
- Insufficient arousal – Sexual issues like low libido can sometimes contribute to vaginal dryness. If you’re not aroused during intercourse (due to lack of foreplay, stress, or a partner’s poor performance) dryness in the intimate area may happen.
- Stress or anxiety – Mental health issues like stress and anxiety can sometimes cause vaginal dryness. Both can also decrease the blood flow in the vaginal area, as well as make it hard to achieve arousal. This can limit vaginal secretions.
Addressing vaginal dryness
The right treatment for vaginal dryness depends on what’s causing it. If its interfering with your relationship and sex life, it is advisable to visit your doctor to discuss your treatment options. Some of the common treatments include:
- Topical estrogen cream
- Vaginal moisturizers
- Localized treatments like vaginal estrogen inserts
What about aesthetic treatments?
If you’re experiencing dryness in the intimate area or urinary stress incontinence, vaginal rejuvenation through BTL® Exilis Ultra Femme 360™ is worth considering. This nonsurgical treatment uses ultrasound energy and radiofrequency waves, which then triggers neocollagenesis or the process of building new collagen.
Ultra Femme 360 safely treats the vaginal tissues, improving blood flow and stimulating collagen production. This results in additional tightening and improved elasticity that can continue over 3 to 4 months. It can safely improve the appearance of your intimate area, as well as improve other issues like dryness and urinary stress incontinence.
Many patients report improvements after the first session. However, overall results improve after the third treatment. Also, the results vary from patient to patient. Factors like the severity of tissue laxity and your body’s response to the procedure can also affect the results.
Check out our previous post to find out everything you need to know about vaginal rejuvenation.
Don’t let vaginal dryness and other intimate area issues interfere with your life. To learn more about Ultra Femme 360 or to find out if you’re a good candidate, contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics today and schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors.