Vaginal Dryness: Don’t Suffer in Silence
Vaginal dryness isn’t a trivial health issue that women should expect and endure. First, it can be an indicator of other health issues such as a hormonal imbalance or illness that should be taken seriously and treated quickly. Second, dryness can make daily life miserable. Often, it causes irritation, painful intercourse, disrupts intimate relationships and leads to a drop in confidence. And yet many women don't talk about vaginal dryness with their healthcare providers. But they should because there are many easy, painless treatments that can provide immediate relief and long-term recovery from vaginal health issues.
Vaginal Dryness Symptoms
Symptoms of vaginal dryness may not be what you would expect. Many symptoms can indicate vaginal dryness, including:
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Vaginal burning
- Vaginal discharge
- Burning with urination
- Discomfort or pain during intercourse
- Lack of vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
- Increased number of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Urgency with urination
- Urinary incontinence
Causes Of Vaginal Dryness
Hormonal imbalances, medications and breastfeeding are a few of the more common causes of vaginal dryness. Often, women who are going through menopause find dryness is one painful result of a drop in estrogen production.
Vaginal dryness can also be a symptom of vaginal atrophy. Frequently, atrophy indicates a hormonal imbalance. This can lead to vaginal irritation, an increased risk of vaginal injury, painful intercourse, infection and vaginal pain. Vaginal atrophy can also cause stress incontinence as well as painful urination due to irritated vaginal tissues.
Causes of decreased estrogen:
- Menopause and peri-menopause
- Postpartum hormone adjustments
- Immune disorders
- Hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries
- Medical treatments such as aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment
- Radiation therapy
Estrogen helps vaginal walls rebuild with healthy tissue, so they are strong, thick and elastic. Further, the lining of the vaginal canal produces natural lubrication. This helps prevent irritation and decreases friction during sexual activity. As estrogen drops, vaginal walls thin and are more vulnerable to injury and pain. The cells of the lining are not replaced with healthy cells as quickly. Unfortunately, the resulting drop in natural lubrication leads to irritating vaginal dryness.
Your provider will assess your health and history to determine the cause of decreased estrogen.
Treating Vaginal Dryness With diVa®
diVa® is a painless vaginal laser therapy that a provider performs in the office. The minimally invasive procedure can provide long-term relief for women who have vaginal dryness, stress incontinence and other symptoms of vaginal atrophy.
diVa® uses a dual-laser technology to stimulate new cell growth in the vaginal lining and the deeper layers of the vaginal walls. The new surface cells increase production of natural lubrication. So the stronger structure, built from stimulated collagen growth, improves overall vaginal function and health.
It takes only a few minutes to treat the length of the vaginal canal. Even better, there is no downtime after the procedure, however we do recommend no intercourse for 7-10 days after the procedure. We recommend three treatments over the course of a few months to optimize the results of diVa®. A maintenance treatment every 12 months will extend the effectiveness of the therapy.
Far too many women believe that vaginal dryness is just part of aging and they have no treatment options. Or, they mistake their symptoms for a UTI or yeast infection and don't realize dryness is to blame.
If your symptoms are caused by vaginal dryness, there are easy treatment options that can offer almost immediate relief.
Over-the-counter and prescription lubricants can be the first steps in treating superficial and sexually related symptoms. Your provider can recommend the best type of lubricant for your vaginal health issues.
Hormonal treatment options include supplementing estrogen. We advocate for the use of bioidentical estrogen therapy as the safer option. Some women are sensitive to hormones or are unable to use hormone therapy because of medical conditions such as an increased risk of certain cancers or potential side effects impacting cancer treatment. Your provider will advise you about the safety of hormonal treatments and which would be the best fit for your needs and lifestyle.
Vaginal dryness doesn’t have to disrupt your daily life and intimate relationships. The expert team at the Coyle Institute can determine the cause of your vaginal concerns and develop a treatment program that will provide relief and put you back on the road to long-lasting vaginal health. Schedule your consultation today.