Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause, although it can occur at any age from a number of different reasons. It is an uncomfortable problem where thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls occur due to a drop in estrogen levels. Estrogen is a female hormone designed to maintain the fluid and keep the lining of the vagina thick, elastic and healthy.

Typically, a thin layer of clear fluid coats the vaginal walls. When hormonal changes take over, such as during menopause, the amount of clear liquid available drops due to a drop in estrogen levels.

Vaginal dryness can have a huge impact on an individual’s sex life if not treated. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for vaginal dryness, generally involving vaginal estrogen therapy, which is used to increase estrogen levels and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.



Common signs and symptoms associated with vaginal dryness include:

  • Itching around the vaginal opening and the lower part of the vagina
  • Burning sensation
  • Soreness
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Discomfort
  • Loss of vaginal elasticity
  • Frequent urination
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections



The main cause of vaginal dryness is a drop in estrogen levels. Estrogen is a female hormone designed to keep vaginal tissue healthy by maintaining normal vaginal lubrication. When hormonal changes take place, a drop in estrogen levels causes something called vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal atrophy causes a reduction in the amount and consistency of moisture in the vaginal lining, in turn making the vaginal lining thinner and less elastic, as well as increasing the risk of contracting urinary tract infections.

There are a number of causes that can trigger vaginal dryness. They include:

  • Menopause or perimenopause
  • Giving birth
  • Smoking
  • Breast-feeding
  • Effects on the ovaries from cancer therapy (radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy)
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries
  • Certain Immune disorders (Sjogren’s syndrome)
  • Certain anti-estrogen medications (such as those used to treat breast cancer)
  • Douching: The process of cleansing the vagina with a liquid preparation
  • Stress
  • Pool or hot tub chemicals
  • Relationship issues