Menopause is the event in which women will encounter reduced estrogen production in the body and would have relatively low levels of estrogen in the blood. This would inevitably lead to certain changes which were estrogen dependant earlier on and a collection of such symptoms are known to us as ‘post menopausal syndrome’ or PMS.
For many women, these symptoms will be at a tolerable level and would not require any drastic measures. But, for the others, it would be necessary to take medical advice as it can disrupt their day to day activities and social interactions. Among many of the symptoms that are seen during this time period, vaginal dryness can be considered something which most women does not come out with due to embarrassment and due to the poor understanding that it is something they have to live with after menopause.
The reason for the development of vaginal dryness is the loss of elasticity and the lubrication due to the reduced influence by the hormone estrogen. It is a long term phenomenon unless any interventions are done but, the degree of presentation can be different from person to person.
A person suffering from vaginal dryness will complain of vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse, watery discharge from the vagina, urinary incontinence as well as recurrent urinary tract infections. At the same time, these women will also complain of burning feeling in the vagina as well as pain and burning sensation while passing urine.
Thus, when such symptoms set in, it should be brought to the notice of your health care provider and following measures are advisable in these circumstances.
-Low dose estrogen therapy
For many women, a course of low dose estrogen therapy delivered in the tablet form would ease the symptoms till such time the body adapts to the low estrogen levels.
-Local application of estrogen
At the same time, application of estrogen creams or inserting estrogen containing pills to the vagina would also give a similar relief to the systemic estrogen therapy with lesser side effects as most of its action would be local. But, if there is a contraindication for the use of estrogen, using local preparations might not be suitable as well.
-Application of vaginal lubricants
These have become more popular as it shows very less side effects and are rather effective in relieving the symptoms associated with vaginal dryness. But, it would require frequent application and will only provide the person with relief for a shorter duration.
-Application of a moisturizer
This can also have the same effect as vaginal lubricant and would ease the dryness that is persisting.
-Pelvic floor exercises
In order to tackle the incontinence that may set in during this time, practicing pelvic floor exercises such as ‘kegel exercises’ would also be useful.
-Gentle sexual activity
When engaged in sexual activities, there should be more foreplay and thus preparation of the vagina before attempting sexual intercourse. This will relieve the discomforts associated with dryness and would prevent any injuries from taking place.