Consider using a lubricant or moisturizer
Before, or in addition to, using vaginal estrogen therapy, talk with your doctor about over-the-counter products, such as those below, to help remedy vaginal dryness.
- Lubricants (Astroglide, others). Water-based lubricants can keep your vagina lubricated for several hours. Choose products that don't contain glycerin. You apply the lubricant to your vaginal opening or to your partner's penis before intercourse.
- Moisturizers (Lubrin, Replens, others). These products imitate normal vaginal moisture and relieve dryness for up to three days with a single application. Use these as ongoing protection from the irritation of vaginal dryness.
Before using complementary or alternative treatments, such as vitamin therapies or products containing estrogen, talk to your doctor about the product's safety and effectiveness.
Pay attention to sexual needs
Occasional vaginal dryness during intercourse may mean that you aren't sufficiently aroused. Make time to be intimate with your partner and allow your body to become adequately aroused and lubricated. It may help to talk with your partner about what feels good. Having intercourse regularly also may help promote better vaginal lubrication.
Avoid certain products
Avoid using these products to treat vaginal dryness because they may irritate your vagina:
- Vinegar, yogurt or other douches
- Hand lotions
- Antibacterial or fragrant soaps
- Bubble baths or bath oils
Also avoid using scented or perfumed products, including toilet paper and detergents.
Dec. 21, 2012
- Bachmann G, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of vaginal atrophy. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Casper RF. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of menopause. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- The North American Menopause Society. The 2012 hormone therapy position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2012;19:257.
- Bachmann G, et al. Treatment of vaginal atrophy. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Fox R, et al. Treatment of dry mouth and other non-ocular symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Frequently asked questions. Women's health FAQ072. Your sexual health. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq072.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121214T1150341035. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- MenoNote: Vaginal dryness. The North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org/publications/educational-materials-for-women/menonotes. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Vaginal and vulvar comfort: Lubricants, moisturizers, and low-dose vaginal estrogen. The North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org/for-women/-em-sexual-health-menopause-em-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/vaginal-and-vulvar-comfort-lubricants-moisturizers-and-low-dose-vaginal-estrogen. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Cano A, et al. The therapeutic effect of a new ultra low concentration estriol gel formulation (0.005% estriol vaginal gel) on symptoms and signs of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy: Results from a pivotal phase III study. Menopause. 2012;19:1130.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ028. Vaginitis. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq028.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121214T1156584804. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Marnach ML (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 6, 2012.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 3, 2012.
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