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Q&A: What does vaginal dryness in perimenopause mean?
Vaginal dryness is just one of the symptoms that is widely associated with menopause, the transitional period between reproductive and non-reproductive. It can be extremely uncomfortable for the woman and is likely to cause severe discomfort during intercourse. Over 40% of women will get vaginal dryness during perimenopause, which is the period of time leading up to menopause when women no longer have a menstrual cycle. Perimenopause can last for length of time between one and 10 years, and it is the period when most menopausal symptoms set in. Why does vaginal dryness occur, and what does it mean? Read on and have your questions answered.
What is vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is a troubling symptom of menopause and can be defined as a lack of natural lubrication or moisture in the vaginal area. When a woman becomes sexually aroused, the body is able to lubricate the vaginal walls with a clear fluid, which is excreted through the blood vessels around the wall. It does so because the body is preparing for sexual intercourse. However, during menopause this process is disrupted, causing vaginal dryness, which is characterized by itching, stinging and irritation in the vaginal area, painful intercourse sometimes resulting in light bleeding, and a need to urinate frequently.
Why am I suffering with it?
Vaginal dryness happens because of the hormonal changes that happen in the female body during menopause. It is the sex hormone estrogen that ensures the vagina remains moist and reacts to sexual arousal, but during menopause, there is a diminish in the production of this hormone so the functions donít work as efficiently. This decrease in estrogen levels results in the vaginal tissues becoming thinner, dryer, and less elastic, as well as lessening vaginal secretions, which means there is less natural lubrication.
What does it ultimately mean?
When you suffer with vaginal dryness, you are suffering with a condition that is likely to cause you some discomfort, both internally and externally. However, it really isnít something to be too concerned about because it is treatable and very common. Ultimately, what it means is that sex is likely to be painful and you may encounter some itching in the vaginal area. However, it is never a permanent solution, so it is unlikely to mean much more than that.
Can I treat it?
Yes, you can. Vaginal dryness is one of the simplest menopausal symptoms to seek relief from. Buy an over-the-counter, water based lubrication and apply to the vagina prior to sexual intercourse and during if necessary. This will reduce the friction between the vaginal walls and the penis. Additionally, purchase a vaginal cream which you can apply during the day; this will be effective in treating the external itching and stinging.
To treat the root cause of vaginal dryness you must rebalance the estrogen levels in the body. This can be done by leading a healthy lifestyle, with a well-balanced diet and daily exercise, ensuring you have time to yourself so you can de-stress. Stress can worsen vaginal dryness so should be alleviated from your daily routine.
If you are one of the 60% of women that are suffering with vaginal dryness, then begin by making important lifestyle changes. You should always talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your vaginal dryness or think that there is another reason other than hormonal changes to blame for such a condition; he or she will be able to give you the appropriate advice. Follow this link to read more about vaginal dryness treatments.
Other Related Articles:
Vaginal dryness in post menopausal women
Lubricants for vaginal dryness
Vaginal Dryness Intercourse
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