Vaginal dryness is a common problem, but most women don’t talk about it, not even to their doctors. As a woman transitions through menopause, her body experiences decreased vaginal blood flow. This can lead to vaginal dryness, irritation, itchiness, and pain during intercourse. With this being such an ordinary problem, especially for women at menopause, a person might think that women would openly discuss how to solve this problem. But a recent study found that few women will even take steps to help relieve the discomfort.
The researchers analyzed data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) and found that many women (less than 50%) don’t disclose vaginal dryness to their doctors. Even more startling, less than 4% of women with vaginal dryness use any kind of therapy to manage the symptoms.
And there are some odd myths out there. Some women mistakenly believe that having more sex could help improve vaginal dryness, while others hoped abstinence would solve the problem. Yet the researchers confirmed that how often a woman had sex had no effect on their vaginal dryness or pain.
Some women will try vaginal moisturizers if sex becomes painful. However, if lubricants are not enough, your doctor can offer very effective therapies such as estrogen tablets, vaginal creams, or the low-dose ring. Additionally, the study found that hormone therapy was effective at managing vaginal dryness.
If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness or have other questions related to menopause, contact Creekside Center at (479) 582-9268 to talk to one of our healthcare team members.
Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause: a longitudinal study