Vaginal dryness may occur at anytime during a woman’s life and may be associated with peri-menopause, menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, being on the pill, and beyond. Estrogen is the hormone receptor of the vagina and when it decreases, it may lead to vaginal dryness. Dryness is the root of the discomfort that many women experience whether or not they are sexually active.

Now, vaginal dryness is not your typical dinner table talk… it is still a taboo subject and women can be quite embarrassed about this particular vaginal symptom. It may make women feel older, regardless of their age, and can be quite uncomfortable. Vaginal dryness also makes routine PAP smears (test for cervical cancer) quite uncomfortable as well.

The sad part is that because so few women discuss vaginal health with their friends, partners and/or physicians, many believe that there is no treatment for this condition. Women resort to Vaseline petroleum jelly, which can actually be quite damaging to the sensitive vaginal tissues or other household products.

Vaginal health is important for all women regardless of age or whether or not they are sexually active. Vaginal dryness is the only symptom of menopause that will not get better if left untreated

The good news is that there are a number of safe and effective treatments for vaginal dryness which include personal moisturizers like RepaGyn®, which will actually treat the problem and provide longer-term relief. RepaGyn® is an ovule inserted into the vagina and does not require a prescription. It is hormone-free and, therefore, a great option for those women who are uncomfortable taking low dose localized estrogen therapy in the form of a cream, tablet or ring (all to be inserted into the vagina).

For those women who are sexually active, using a lubricant will help during sex. A woman can also use a lubricant even if she is not sexually active but it is important to understand that relief is short term and the lubricant will have to be reapplied.

We need to view the vagina as the beautiful muscular elastic organ that stretches to accommodate a penis or a baby’s head. It is the center of intimacy and a beautiful flower that flourishes when healthy. Many things may affect vaginal health especially dryness which, because of the discomfort, keeps many women out of the bedroom. I hear from my patients that why they understand the importance of a healthy vagina and treat their vaginal dryness, it helps them get back to the bedroom with the one they love.

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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