Vaginal Dryness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Over the years, women of all age groups suffer from the problem of vaginal dryness.[1] While this may not really come as a big problem, increased vaginal dryness can give way to several problems, mostly interfering with your sex life.

Generally, the vaginal walls are lubricated due to the presence of a thin layer of fluid produced by the estrogen hormone. The fluid helps to keep the vaginal lining thick, healthy, and elastic. A sudden drop in the estrogen level leads to a decrease in moisture around the vagina.[2] The causes may vary, and it can affect women of all age groups.

Although vaginal dryness does not cause much of a problem, it does pave the way for discomfort and pain during intercourse. However, there are different types of medicines available in the market to remove vaginal dryness.

What are the causes of vaginal dryness?

The sudden drop in the estrogen levels is one of the main reasons for vaginal dryness. However, it commonly happens around the time of menopause because it is during this time that the estrogen levels begin to fall.

The ovaries are responsible for producing estrogen that helps to maintain the female physical characteristics like body shape and breast.[3] It also has an important role in maintaining the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

As stated above, estrogen is responsible for making the fluid that helps to maintain the vaginal thickness and moisturization. With the decrease in fluid production, the vagina tends to lose its elasticity and becomes dry.[4] Suddenly there is a massive change in color as well from pink to blue. This condition is referred to as vaginal atrophy.

Apart from this, the vaginal dryness may also be caused due to a low estrogen level under the following conditions.

  • Breastfeeding and childbirth
  • Chemotherapy to treat cancer
  • Surgically removing ovaries
  • Using anti-estrogen medicines to cure uterine fibroids and endometriosis.

However, there are other causes of vaginal dryness too. Some of these are

Antihistamines: People use antihistamine drugs to treat cold and allergy.[5] These eventually dry the secretions, thereby paving the way for vaginal dryness. Even urinating becomes painful in this condition.

Sjögren’s syndrome: Due to this disorder, salivary and tear glands undergo inflammation. Eventually, the vaginal lining tissue also becomes inflamed, leading to dryness across the vagina.

Reports have suggested that people using antidepressants have trouble reaching orgasm and suffer from decreased libido and vaginal dryness.

Symptoms of vaginal dryness

Often vaginal dryness isn’t taken seriously until it causes extreme discomfort around the pelvic and vaginal regions.[6] Some of the prominent symptoms of vaginal dryness include

  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Burning sensation around vagina
  • Soreness
  • Painful intercourse
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal itching
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Acne breakout

Women often consider vaginal dryness to be embarrassing, which is why a number of them do not want to go to a doctor.

When to see a doctor?

If you notice any changes in your vaginal health, you need to see a doctor as soon as you can. The symptoms mentioned above can be the triggers of when you should be seeing a doctor.

Based on your symptoms, the doctor will carry out the pelvic examination.[7] Apart from that, the doctor will conduct your health history test as well to analyze the seriousness of the condition.

The pelvic examination usually helps the doctor find out possible changes around the vagina and confirm whether it is vaginal dryness or mere infection. Depending on what they observe, they may collect samples of vaginal discharge to check for infection.

Since there is no specific test to check for vaginal dryness, the doctors will use the symptoms only to check for the conditions. Although this may be a little uncomfortable, if you discuss it freely with your doctor, they will be able to treat the condition as soon as possible.


Different types of treatments are available in the market, depending on the severity of your condition.[8] The doctor may either prescribe over-the-counter medicines or topical estrogen creams.

You can also go for natural aphrodisiac like Spanish Fly Pro. It can be one of the best solutions to give your low sex drive a boost by increasing libido in the body.

It aids in natural vaginal lubrication too, and you don’t have to worry about any side effects. You can also buy it online, which means that you don’t need to go looking for it.[9] Without the vaginal dryness, you will be able to experience sex better.

Topical estrogen cream

Topical estrogen therapy is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for this problem. These medicines are directly applied to the vagina to relieve the symptoms.[10] These are far more beneficial than pills because these have low-risk factors.

Some of the topical estrogen therapies that you may be prescribed to go through depending on your condition include the following.

  • Vaginal Ring

This ring-like structure is flexible and inserted into the vagina to release low levels of estrogen in the tissue. It helps to keep the area moisturized. However, it is necessary to replace it every three weeks to avoid infections.

  • Vaginal Cream

The cream is topically applied to the vagina to cure vaginal dryness and atrophy. One of the main benefits of the cream is that it is far better than the placebo.

  • Vaginal Tablet

Using an applicator, a tablet is placed into the vagina to ease the symptoms.

Apart from the topical medicines, over-the-counter medicines can be of great help in treating the condition. These lubricants help to make intercourse less painful and increase the moisture around the area.[11] The doctor may recommend you to use water-based lubricants over oil-based ones because the latter tends to irritate.

If you have been suffering from problems in your sex life due to the use of these medicines, you must get in touch with experts.


[2] Castelo-Branco C, Cancelo MJ. Compounds for the treatment of atropic vaginitis. Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2008;18(12):1385–1394. [Google Scholar]


[4]  Palacios S. Atrophy Murogenital. Managing urogenital atrophy. Maturitas. 2009;63(4):315–318. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]


[6] Apolihina I, Gorbunova E. Clinical and morphological aspects of vulvovaginal atrophy. Medical Council. 2014;9:109–117. [Google Scholar]

[7] Basaran M, Kosif R, Bayar U, Civelek B. Characteristics of external genitalia in pre- and postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2008;11(5):416–421. [PubMed]



[10] Mac Bride MB, Rhodes DJ, Shuster LT. Vulvovaginal atrophy. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010;85(1):87–94. Epub 2010/01/01. 10.4065/mcp.2009.0413 [PMC free article]