Vaginal dryness is a common, normal, and natural occurrence. A decrease in female hormone levels, or estrogen, brought about by a variety of reasons, is the primary cause of vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness affects more than 25 million women at one time or another.
Vaginal dryness can affect each woman differently. It is important to remember to contact your gynecologist or regular medical doctor about specific concerns. Below are answers to some common questions about vaginal dryness.
A lack of sufficient lubrication can occur for many reasons, depending on the woman and her particular situation. Some of the most common reasons are:
Yes. Vaginal dryness can cause friction and tissue irritation, resulting in discomfort and pain from sexual intercourse. This is known as dyspareunia.
No. Vaginal dryness can cause discomfort such as painful urination, frequent urination, or feelings of frequent urination, particularly in postmenopausal women.
If the cause of vaginal dryness can be ascertained, an attempt at curing the problem may be easy. Replacement of missing hormones or correction of a hormone imbalance may be all that is needed. Changing birth control medications, allowing adequate time to heal after childbirth, and addressing stress problems may all be beneficial in certain circumstances. In many cases, the exact cause is not ascertainable and a vaginal lubricant such as Astroglide, Lubrin, Lubafax, or K-Y jelly might be recommended.
A. K-Y jelly or Lubafax are inexpensive non-specific lubricants that are water-soluble. They can be placed directly into the vagina and provide quick and temporary lubrication. They are not medicated. Astroglide is specifically used as a vaginal lubricant for vaginal dryness or sexual intercourse and simulates vaginal lubrication for a longer period of time. It is colorless, unscented, and non-staining. Lubrin inserts are the pre-measured vaginal inserts that provide lubrication for vaginal dryness or for sexual intercourse. Lubrin is also an unscented, colorless, non-staining product that simulates the body's natural lubrication for several hours and may be inserted 5 to 30 minutes before intercourse.
Thomas G. Stovall, M.D.
Dr. Stovall is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee.
Date Published: 2000-09-25
*The recommendations and information provided by this Web site are for educational purposes only. This Web site does not contain comprehensive coverage of the topics addressed, and is not a substitute for direct consultation with your health care provider. Always consult a health care provider regarding your specific condition. Trademarks referred to are the property of their respective owners.
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