Refuse to suffer in silence. Learn more.
The first, most important step is to prepare to talk with your health care professional and learn about your options. If your vaginal discomfort is related to a decrease in your estrogen levels, simple, effective treatments are available. There are also helpful lifestyle changes you can make and products you can use during intercourse to make yourself more comfortable. You may also want to start a conversation with your partner to offer reassurance that you are aware of the problem, you are looking for a solution, and you want intimacy to remain a healthy, vital part of your relationship.
Vaginal discomfort ranges from minor irritation to truly debilitating. Together, you and your health care professional will decide what type(s) of treatment are best for you.
Nonprescription options: lubricants and moisturizers.
Non-hormonal vaginal lubricants can help decrease friction and discomfort during intercourse. These must be water-based and designed for vaginal use. Vaginal moisturizers can help relieve dryness and rebalance the acidity of the vagina. You may prefer a moisturizer if you have irritation or burning that is not limited to sexual activity.
Local estrogen therapy (LET)
If you've been diagnosed with vaginal atrophy, treatment most often takes the form of estrogen applied directly to the vaginal tissues. This is called local estrogen therapy, or LET. With LET, the estrogen goes directly into the tissues that are most affected. There is minimal absorption of estrogen into the bloodstream, so it does not affect the whole body. Local estrogen therapy is the administration that does not result in clinically significant systematic absorption. LET is most appropriate for vaginal discomfort. It has been proven to relieve vaginal dryness, restore the thickness and flexibility of vaginal tissues, and restore a healthy chemical balance inside the vagina. It is not prescribed for hot flashes and other common whole-body symptoms of menopause.