Vaginal dryness during the menopause
Vaginal dryness during the menopause is not uncommon – almost half of women over the age of 45 are affected1. A feeling of dryness, burning, itching and even pain: The symptoms of vaginal dryness are unpleasant and can also cause physical and psychological suffering for those affected. Nevertheless, this topic is often not addressed. Yet the menopause is a totally natural process that all women go through in the course of their lives, and luckily many of the symptoms, including vaginal dryness, can be easily treated.
During the menopause, the mucous membranes in the genital area are often not supplied with sufficient amounts of moisture. In many cases, this is due to the hormonal change experienced during the menopause. This can lead to vaginal dryness. This expresses itself as symptoms such as dryness, itching and burning in the vagina, at the entrance of the vagina and in the external genital area. Furthermore, pain may be experienced during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).
Vaginal dryness can be so pronounced and debilitating that a feeling of soreness and dryness can even be experienced when sitting, walking and riding a bicycle.
If you are currently going through the menopause and have had one of these symptoms in the vaginal area during the last four weeks, this can be an indication that you are suffering from vaginal dryness.
What happens to the body during the menopause?
The menopause is a wholly natural change experienced by the female body caused by the reduced production of the female sex hormone oestrogen. The start date of the menopause varies from woman to woman – it is frequently as of the mid 40s. To start off with, menstruation becomes irregular and finally stops altogether; as such a woman becomes gradually less fertile.
Even though the menopause is totally natural, the changes to the body can cause unpleasant symptoms. Some women experience hot flushes, mood swings and sleep disorders. The drop in collagen formation during the menopause can also cause hair loss and the skin can become noticeably less elastic. These and other symptoms can be more or less pronounced from woman to woman.
- Layer up to combat hot flushes! Wear multiple layers of clothing so you can quickly take a layer off if necessary.
- To counter dry skin and hair, it is important to drink a lot and use oily creams and gentle styling products.
- Fluctuations in weight are best combated in the classic way: with a healthy diet and exercise.
- Many women suffer from sleep disorders: Make sure the temperature in the room is pleasant (max. 18 degrees) and do not watch the TV or use your phone or computer just before going to bed.
- Clear life goals and projects as well as sufficient social contacts can help against bouts of depression.
A frequent yet often unaddressed side effect during and after the menopause is vaginal dryness. Yet the symptoms can, in part, be so pronounced that, for example, wearing tight clothing becomes unpleasant or your sex life is compromised. Reason enough to take a look at the causes and treatment options.
Possible causes of vaginal dryness during the menopause
With the start of puberty, the ovaries start to produce the female sex hormone oestrogen. Among other things, this hormone ensures that the vaginal skin has a good supply of blood and that the mucous membranes are supplied with moisture.
Once the menopause begins, the body produces less oestrogen. As a result, the skin in the genital area and vagina becomes less elastic, the supply of blood is reduced and less moisture is produced in the vagina. At the same time, cell regeneration slows down and the skin in the vaginal area becomes thinner and more sensitive. A possible consequence of this is vaginal dryness. Studies confirm that the risk of vaginal dryness also increases when women suffer from diabetes, have a low body mass index (BMI) or are in poor physical condition.2
How to treat vaginal dryness during the menopause
First things first: The menopause is not an illness, but a completely natural change in a woman's body. However, for some women these physical changes can bring with them discomfort.
Vaginal dryness is a possible unpleasant side effect of the menopause. It is frequently accompanied with pain in the genital area, including during sex. This is not just unpleasant on a day-to-day basis, but possibly also compromises your sex life and general quality of life. You can prevent and treat vaginal dryness:
Hormone-free treatment for vaginal dryness?
Both hormone-based and hormone-free preparations are available to treat vaginal dryness. Hormone preparations are only available on prescription and have to be prescribed by a doctor. When it comes to hormone-free preparations, you can choose between creams, gels and pessaries.
• Prescription-only vaginal creams or pessaries regulate the lack of oestrogen
• Hormones are released directly into the area or bloodstream
• Tend not to be usable during pregnancy, when breast-feeding and radiotherapy
• Hormone-free creams, gels and pessaries are available over the counter in pharmacies
• They relieve the symptoms locally
• If used regularly, they also prevent dry skin and skin irritations in the genital area
• Can be used by all women, even during pregnancy, when breast-feeding and cancer treatment
A cream or gel for vaginal dryness?
There are creams, pessaries and gels available for the hormone-free treatment of vaginal dryness. For the most part, the gels are aqueous preparations without moisturising components. When using condoms as a form of contraception, water-based gels must mostly be used. Vagisan MoistCream supplies the skin in the genital area with both moisture and soothing lipids (fats). This makes the skin in the genital area wonderfully soft and supple, which can also have a positive effect on sexual intercourse.
Vagisan MoistCream for vaginal dryness
Are you going through the menopause and suffer from vaginal dryness? Vagisan MoistCream helps to relieve the symptoms. Regular use can help to prevent irritation and inflammation in the vagina and external genital area caused by dryness. Vagisan MoistCream is available in your pharmacy without a prescription.
In contrast to a purely water-based gel, Vagisan MoistCream supplies the skin in the genital area with both moisture and soothing lipids (fats). It leaves the sensitive vaginal lining feeling pleasantly soft and contains no hormones. You can also use Vagisan MoistCream to facilitate sexual intercourse. Vagisan MoistCream can be applied in the vagina with or without an applicator.
Tips for a healthy genital area during the menopause
In order to remain healthy during the menopause, you should lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle – cigarettes and a poor diet can have a further negative impact on menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flushes, etc.
Should you experience pain during sexual intercourse, we recommend that you seek medical advice and regularly supply the skin in the genital area with moisture and soothing lipids (fats) to counter dryness.