I ask every patient who comes to see me if they experience vaginal dryness, because I know they won’t tell me on their own. When I ask this question, women will often answer by saying, “I am not sexually active.” I find this interesting since one does not need to be sexually active to experience vaginal dryness. Women associate the vagina with sex but it is time we associated the vagina with health!
Vaginal dryness is the hallmark symptom of Vaginal Atrophy, a little known condition that affects 49% of postmenopausal women. Unlike the more commonly known symptoms associated with menopause like night sweats and hot flashes, vaginal atrophy (with its hallmark symptom of vaginal dryness) does not. Many women never mention vaginal dryness to their doctors and even if they do, it is not uncommon for doctors to say they should expect vaginal dryness as they age. This is simply not true.
Vaginal dryness is a very common reason that women stop having sex. When sex hurts, women may experience low sexual desire and this can affect their relationship. Men are reluctant to engage in sexual activity when they think they are hurting the woman in their life. Some women will try home remedies such as Vaseline and olive oil to manage their vaginal dryness. Others will resort to lubricants which are for use during sex – lubricants will not treat vaginal dryness.
Keeping the vagina moist is integral to good vaginal health and this can be done with the use of a personal moisturizer (such as RepaGyn®, which I often recommend to my patients looking for an effective, hormone free remedy). Experiencing vaginal dryness is very uncomfortable for women whether they are sexually active or not. Many women describe the discomfort of vaginal dryness as feeling like sandpaper in their vagina. A personal moisturizer moistens the tissues and helps you feel better. So if you have lost that loving feeling because of vaginal dryness, you may want to get back to the bedroom with a personal moisturizer.