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There is no reason why any woman should endure the unpleasant effects of vaginal dryness and irritation to the external female genitalia. Vaginal dryness in perimenopausal women can have many causes, including medications such as antidepressants, excessive caffeine, decongestants, oral contraceptives, stress, lack of foreplay, and specific hormonal deficiencies, such as estradiol and testosterone.
First, to rule out other possible causes of irritation or pain, such as an infection or a lesion, it’s important that your doctor diagnose the problem as “vaginal atrophy,” “atrophic changes,” or estrogen deficiency. Once a diagnosis of atrophy or thinning of the tissues is made, it is fairly easy to remedy the problem.
Treating vaginal/vulvar atrophy will also help with bladder control, lubrication, and prevention of vaginal infections (such as yeast and bacteria overgrowth).
By improving tissue health and increasing the area’s elasticity, moistness, and padding, you will again be able to enjoy sex, which will no longer be painful. More natural lubrication also leads to improved sensation.
After your diagnosis of atrophy or thinning of the tissues is made, another cure for this problem is hormone treatments.
The genital area contains multiple estrogen and testosterone receptors that depend on adequate levels of these hormones to keep them healthy, plump, and youthful. Estrogen and testosterone promote adequate blood flow in the pelvic organs and surrounding tissues, they help maintain a healthy pH balance in the vaginal area, and they keep healthy bacteria in check and working to your benefit. If your blood levels of estrogen are normal, your tissues can still benefit from the use of estriol, a weak natural form of estrogen.
Using estriol vaginal cream formulated by a compounding pharmacy is the best treatment for vaginal dryness. It can be applied to the vagina internally with an applicator or used on the external tissues for improved elasticity, especially at the vaginal opening.
Unlike estradiol creams – the traditional hormone therapy – estriol won’t build up the uterine lining.