You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor. For too long women have suffered silently while coping with vaginal dryness medical names: atrophic vaginitis, vaginal atrophy, and vulvovaginal atrophya group of symptoms that can develop during perimenopause and continue to persist after menopause.
During a pelvic exam, your doctor inserts two gloved fingers inside your vagina. While simultaneously pressing down on your abdomen, he or she can evaluate your uterus, ovaries and other pelvic organs. To treat genitourinary syndrome of menopause, your doctor may first recommend over-the-counter treatment options, including:.
This moisture provides an alkaline environment that sperm can survive in and travel in for sexual reproduction. These vaginal secretions also lubricate the vaginal wall, reducing Read More. These vaginal secretions also lubricate the vaginal wall, reducing friction during sexual intercourse.
Vaginal Dryness, also known as vaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitisis a common and distressing condition which can affect women at any stage of their adult life, causing embarrassment, a sense of loss and, at times, extreme physical discomfort. The most common cause of a decrease in estrogen levels is the menopause. During this period, the body decreases its production of estrogen, leading to thinner vaginal tissue and fewer lubricating glands.
Estrogen keeps the tissues of the vagina lubricated and healthy. Normally, the lining of the vagina makes a clear, lubricating fluid. This fluid makes sexual intercourse more comfortable.
Clue is on a mission to help you understand your body, periods, ovulation, and so much more. Start tracking today. Vaginal lubrication is often closely tied to levels of the hormone estrogen, which changes at various life stages.
The hormone fluctuations that begin in perimenopause bring about many physical changes. Similarly, regular sexual activity helps maintain vaginal flexibility and pliability, presumably because it increases blood supply to the vagina and can also have a stretching effect. Penetration may be uncomfortable or even painful, and can lead to irritation.
Back to Health A to Z. Vaginal dryness is a common problem that many women have at some point in their lives. But there are things that can help.
Vaginal dryness occurs in women of all ages, but it becomes much more common after menopause. The North American Menopause Society and the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health refer to this combination of menopausal symptoms, which are brought on by a drop in the body's estrogen production, as genitourinary syndrome of menopause GSM. GSM can significantly reduce quality of life, similar to other chronic conditions. While other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, typically decline over time, vaginal dryness tends to linger because it results from physical changes in the vagina — specifically atrophy of tissues, which become thinner, drier, and less flexible because of estrogen loss.