Vaginal dryness refers to the lack of moisture in the vaginal area. Vaginal atrophy describes the thinning of the vaginal wall, usually occurring during menopause. The body isn’t as efficient at lubricating the vaginal area as hormonal changes cause a lack of stimulation to this fluid production. As estrogen levels in the body decline, the vaginal lining becomes thinner and dryer, even changing color. The loss of elasticity results in a number of unpleasant symptoms.
Although it can happen at any time in a woman’s life, vaginal dryness is a common symptom of perimenopause and menopause. Along with a host of other symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, chronic fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, vaginal dryness can make a woman’s menopause transition difficult.
Vaginal dryness leads to several symptoms, including:
If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to increased frequency of vaginal infections.
The common symptoms of itching, dryness, and pain with intercourse are adequate indicators for a diagnosis if other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and urinary incontinence issues, are occurring.
Dr. Taymour conducts a pelvic exam to eliminate other medical conditions or infections. In some cases, vaginal dryness may be related to emotional factors, including stress, anxiety, and depression. These emotional issues can lead to a decrease in vaginal lubrication, even during sex. Some women may also experience a loss of libido and issues getting or staying aroused.
For vaginal dryness conditions causing frequent discomfort, there are several treatment options available. The latest innovation, MonaLisa Touch®, is a minimally-invasive treatment option using a vaginal probe to deliver laser energy to the vaginal wall. The procedure takes just minutes and many women report a significant improvement to their vaginal dryness after the first treatment.
In addition to laser treatments, other options for relieving vaginal dryness include:
Hormone treatments may not be suitable for everyone. Dr. Taymour recommends the best course of hormonal or nonhormonal treatment options based on your needs and medical history.
At Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed. We unfortunately are not in contract with any Medi-cal Sponsored Programs or Kaiser.
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