Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Vaginal dryness is a common problem and can affect women at any age, although it occurs more frequently in older women, particularly after menopause.
Vaginal dryness or atrophy, also called atrophic vaginitis, happens when the amount of oestrogen in our bodies is reduced, making vagina to become less lubricated and stretchy.
Symptoms of a dry vagina include – Loss of lubrication and pain during sex, vaginal irritation, itchiness or a burning sensation, discomfort, difficulty getting aroused and reaching orgasm, change in the appearance of the vagina and vulva, changes in vaginal discharge, needing to pee more often than usual, etc.
There are a number of factors that can lead to vaginal dryness. They are:
- Menopause – this is one of the most common causes of vaginal dryness due to a decreased levels of the hormone oestrogen during menopause. Oestrogen acts as a natural lubricant in your vagina and helps to keep this area moist and healthy.
- Childbirth/Breastfeeding – the amount of oestrogen produced by a woman's body is temporarily reduced after giving birth as well as while breastfeeding. This can and make your vagina feel drier than usual.
- Medications - some types of medications such as anti-depressants, antihistamines, can have a drying effect inside the body and cause reduced vaginal lubrication.
- Insufficient arousal – Sometimes, it can be as a result of low libido or not being aroused before sex.
- Cancer treatment – Many cancer treatments can cause vaginal dryness.
Sometimes, vaginal dryness is also caused by an underlying condition such as diabetes, Sjogren's syndrome. Whatever the cause may be, discuss your problems with your doctor if you've been experiencing the symptoms of vaginal dryness.