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Many women feel vaginal dryness during menopause due to the thinning of the mucus

membranes and the loss of elasticity in the walls of the vagina. The reduction in
the production of estrogen in the ovaries may cause the thinning of the vaginal
lining. This, in itself, does not cause any problems, unless the lining of the
vagina becomes inflamed and dry; then it is painful.

Vaginal dryness is medically known as 'atrophic vaginitis,' and it sounds like a


disease, though it is not. It can be overcome with simple remedies, such as, a
good nutritional program during your menopause. This is an excellent way of
preventing your vagina from becoming dry and thin. Other solutions to the problem
are the estrogen replacement creams, tri-estrogen cream or triple estrogen cream,
and pills that your doctor can prescribe. Certain Over-The-Counter (OTC) vaginal
lubricants could be helpful too. Applying Vitamin E oil helps hydrating the
vaginal membranes.

If you are on medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants or other drugs


with drying potential, these can cause drying of the mucous membranes, aggravating
the problem. Doctors suggest a perineal wash (area between the posterior vulva
junction and the anus in females) once a day. Women need to rinse the vulvar
region (the external genital organs of the female, including the labia majora,
labia minora, clitoris, and entrance of the vagina) with plain water. Opening the
labia gently with one hand, water is either sprayed from a squirt bottle or poured
gently from a square container.

Menopause, Vaginal Dryness and Sex


Though menopause is nature's contraceptive, women need to wait at least a year
before giving up on contraceptives.

During Perimenopause, the period leading to menopause, the sexual desire gets
diminishes often. The thinning of the genital membranes and vaginal dryness often
lead to discomfort during masturbation and sexual intercourse.

Women who have infrequent intercourse could gently stretch the vaginal tissues by
inserting a couple of fingers in the vagina during bath. This may prevent
vaginismus, a muscular contraction causing the vagina to close, and pain on
penetration. Maintaining regular sexual activity, and/or masturbation will help.
To aid vaginal lubrication, which is delayed with age, women can ask their
partners to prolong foreplay. This could make penetration easy and comfortable.

Treating Thinning of Membranes and Vaginal Dryness


· Start with drinking 2 liters of water and herbal tea every day.
· Consumption of soybean stimulates estrogen production, leading to
elimination of vaginal dryness in many women.
· Adding canola, olive, sunflower, or soybean oil to your diet will add
lubrication to your body.
· Doctors suggest applying intra-vaginally, natural progesterone cream once a
day.
· In doses of 200 IU at a time, take 600 to 800 IU of Vitamin E daily. Vitamin
E is contra-indicated for hypertension, diabetes or a rheumatic heart. You will
need to consult your doctor.
One effective way of easing vaginal dryness is to insert a Vitamin E capsule
intra-vaginally.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not
intended as medical advice.