Vaginal Dryness: Symptoms, Treatments and Home Remedies

Vaginal dryness is a common complaint in women and is due to hormonal changes in perimenopause and menopause. Treatment may be straightforward, but also may be complicated by biological, psychological, relationship, and sociocultural factors. Several treatment options are available.

Reduced estrogen levels are the main cause of vaginal dryness. Estrogen, a female hormone, helps keep vaginal tissue healthy by maintaining normal vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity and acidity. These factors create a natural defense against vaginal and urinary tract infections. But when your estrogen levels decrease, so does this natural defense, leading to a thinner, less elastic and more fragile vaginal lining and an increased risk of urinary tract infection.

In general, treating vaginal dryness is more effective with topical (vaginal) estrogen rather than systemic estrogen given orally or by skin patch. Estrogen applied to the vagina can still result in estrogen reaching your bloodstream, but the amount is minimal, especially if a low dose is used.