Lack of discharge — Vaginal dryness
The vagina has a form of an elastic muscular canal the outer layer of which is lined by laminated epithelium. The outer layer of the vagina is a mucous membrane with folds. On the vaginal wall there are special glands producing a clear secret almost without any smell which moisturizes vagina. The vagina has its microflora. Normal functioning of the organ depends on many factors and even if just one factor is disturbed, vaginal dryness can occur (atrophic vaginitis).
Due to reduced secret production, microtraumas occur and a natural lubricant is not produced.
- Most often vaginal dryness occurs during menopause. The age of a woman is from 40 to 60 years old. The problem occurs because of the reduced production of a sex hormone estrogen. This hormone is responsible for the work of the vaginal glands controlling the secret production.
- The use of some drugs can reduce the level of estrogen and, consequently, lead to atrophic vaginitis. The drugs which influence the amount of vaginal discharge are hypotensive drugs, antidepressants, drugs to treat fibroids, diuretics, antihistamines.
- Hygiene care products. Some care products containing synthetic substances, dyes and aromatizers can cause allergy and, consequently, itching and vaginal dryness. Girls should be careful with soap which dries out the skin.
- Vaginal dryness can occur as the result of using oral pills containing progesterone. This is an estrogen antagonist and the pills reduce its concentration in a female body.
- Physiologically, reduced vaginal gland secretion can occur before the period as during this period a woman’s body undergoes hormonal changes and the level of estrogen decreases.
- Vaginal dryness during sex can occur in girls who have bad habits, especially smoking. Smoking contributes to hormone imbalance and distorts circulation which negatively affects the secretory function of the glands. Menopause in smoking women occurs earlier and it is not arrested very well by a hormonal therapy.
- Negative effect of radio and chemotherapy to treat cancer. The therapy affects exceptionally all the processes in the body including the hormones.
- Sjogren syndrome can cause dysfunction of the glands (this is an autoimmune disease affecting connective tissues and glands in the body).
- Too frequent douching destroys vaginal microflora and negatively affects the work of the glands.
- Different infectious diseases of the urogenital system causing inflammation of the mucous membrane.
- Genital herpes. Additionally to low secretion, sores appear on the genitals causing itching.
- Clearly, ovary removal affects the hormones and can be the reason of atrophic vaginitis.
- Vaginal dryness can occur during pregnancy and after a child birth.
- Nervous tension, stress, and excessive physical load are among the psychological reasons which change the endocrine profile.
Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis
- Constant discomfort as a result of reduced secret production or lack of vaginal discharge;
- Itching and burning;
- Pain during sex, microtraumas and cuts can lead to bleeding;
- As the protective layer of the vagina is damaged, a secondary inflammatory infection can occur;
- Thinning of urethral tissues provokes an urgent need to urinate.
Treatment of vaginal dryness
Before deciding how to cure vaginal dryness, it is necessary to find out the reason of this condition to exclude any serious pathologies. A girl should undergo a thorough gynecological examination and only then decide how to treat vaginal dryness.
As the most common reason of the pathology is hormonal imbalance, the most optimal treatment is a hormonal therapy. Medications for topical use are prescribed most often:
- Vaginal dryness suppositories (the course of treatment lasts for several months. Suppositories are administered once a day in the first month and then twice a day until disappearance);
- Estradiol vaginal rings. The rings are inserted three times a month. They are very convenient because they take the form of the vagina and the hormones easily penetrate into the tissues;
- Estrogen-containing creams. A woman will need a special applicator to use the cream. In the first several weeks, the cream is applied several times a day and then three times a week will be enough.
For women with contraindications to hormones and women with vaginal dryness after a child birth, a specialist prescribes medicinal herbs having a positive effect on hormonal balance. These are the herbs with hop extract, ortilia secunda extract, melatonin and other herbal medicinal products with the same effect.
If vaginal dryness is caused by infections or inflammations, antibiotics are used.
In case, there is no evident reason of vaginal dryness, a medical specialist prescribes the drugs to enhance the muscle tone and to restore vaginal fluid balance, for example, Klimadynon and Cicatridine.
A specialist may prescribe hormonal pills. The drug therapy should be under control of a doctor as excessive use of estrogen can cause many negative consequences, for example, cancer.
Apart from etiological treatment, there is also a symptomatic therapy which is aimed at relieving discomfort in everyday life and discomfort during sex. The therapy includes:
- Moisturizing creams. They are applied several times a day and even more often depending on the condition;
- Water-based lubricants. They relieve discomfort during sex, reduce the risk of bleeding of the vaginal walls are injured.
Be aware that you can not use latex condoms with oil-based lubricants as the lubricants can damage latex.
In conclusion, we’d like to note that vaginal dryness is a common female problem and women should not ignore it as there are a lot of causes of the lack of vaginal discharge. This condition can provoke some serious disorders in a female body. If you notice the first signs of discomfort, visit a medical specialist.