Vaginal Dryness | Gleneagles Hospitals
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Women’s Health
Preventive Care

Managing Vaginal Dryness: Helpful Tips

15 March 2024 · 4 mins read


Vaginal dryness frequently occurs in women after menopause. Find out more about tips to manage vaginal dryness.

Vaginal dryness is a common issue that affects many women, particularly during menopause. However, it can also affect women of any age for various reasons, such as hormonal changes, breastfeeding, and stress.

Vaginal dryness refers to a condition where the vagina lacks sufficient moisture and lubrication. The lack of natural vaginal lubrication can result in discomfort, irritation, and pain around the genital area. 

This can result from a decrease in oestrogen levels, leading to symptoms such as discomfort, irritation, and pain during sexual activity. Oestrogen plays a key role in maintaining the health and lubrication of the vaginal tissues, and when its levels decline, it can cause dryness and other related issues.

Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness

Symptoms of vaginal dryness can differ from one woman to another. However, they usually manifest as a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent vaginal itching.
  • Burning sensations in the vaginal area.
  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Urinary symptoms such as increased frequency or urgency.
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness during menopause is associated with a reduction in oestrogen levels. As oestrogen levels drop, the vaginal tissues become dry due to insufficient lubrication. Apart from menopause, other hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or certain phases of the menstrual cycle, can contribute to temporary vaginal dryness.

Certain medical treatments like surgical removal of ovaries and radiotherapy or chemotherapy of the pelvis for cancer treatment can lead to a decrease in oestrogen levels, resulting in vaginal dryness. Medications like danazol, medroxyprogesterone, leuprolide, or nafarelin affects oestrogen production, resulting in vaginal dryness.

The use of certain soaps, detergents, or hygiene products with chemical irritants can irritate the vaginal area and contribute to dryness.

Emotional factors like stress, anxiety can also affect sexual health and may contribute to vaginal dryness. Psychological well-being is linked to sexual function, and stress can impact hormone levels.

Treatment Options for Vaginal Dryness

The following are some treatment options that may help for vaginal dryness.

Vaginal moisturisers and lubricants

Vaginal moisturisers are formulated to hydrate vaginal tissues. They are available over-the-counter and should be used regularly to prevent vaginal dryness. Whether you choose creams or gels, it is vital that the product is pH-balanced and irritant-free and fragrance-free to avoid potential reactions.

Vaginal lubricants are products used during sexual activity to reduce friction during sex. They come in various types - water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based. However, water-based lubricants are usually recommended because of their non-irritating properties. 

Low-dose oestrogen therapy 

Low-dose oestrogen therapy is prescribed for more effective treatment, especially if lubricants and moisturisers are not sufficient. Available as creams, tablets, or rings; cream is applied daily initially and then less frequently, while the ring is worn continuously.

Low-dose vaginal oestrogen poses lower systemic risks compared to other oestrogen-containing products. Progestin medication may be necessary depending on the specific vaginal oestrogen used.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Administered as a daily suppository inserted into the vagina, prasterone converts into oestrogen and testosterone locally. Prasterone serves as an option for those unable to use oestrogen or choosing to avoid it while still considering other vaginal hormone treatments.


Ospemifene is a prescription medication with oestrogen-like effects in pill form. This is an alternative for those who prefer non-vaginal options but may cause mild side effects.

Make an Appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, seek the right solution and embrace a more comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. Get in touch with us to book an appointment with a gynaecologist or find out more about our Obstetrics and Gynaecology Services at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.

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