Treatments for vaginal dryness depend on the cause of the problem. Often, low levels of estrogen, important to the proper lubrication and health of the vagina, account for dryness. An effective treatment for atrophic vaginitis is prescription estrogen delivered directly to the vagina in the form of creams, tablets, suppositories or rings. Hormone replacement therapy can also relieve symptoms of menopause, but risks and benefits should be discussed thoroughly with the doctor.
A number of non-prescription lubricants and vaginal moisturizers often provide effective, though temporary treatment. Mineral oil, petroleum jelly and other oils should be avoided as they can increase the risk of infection and damage diaphragms and condoms.
If soaps, lotions, perfumes or douches are causing the problem, a switch to non-irritating products should effectively relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
- In addition to water-based lubricants, a woman may also want to consider alternative treatments for vaginal dryness after consulting with her doctor. Research is still inconclusive on these options.
- Eating tofu, soy milk and edamame (whole soybeans) that have isoflavones that mimic the action of estrogen to a limited extent
- Using vaginal creams containing wild yam, claimed by some women to relieve symptoms; caution should be observed with products containing synthetic medroxypregesterone (MPA) a derivative of progesterone
- Black cohosh, an herbal supplement sold to relieve menstrual problems, is used by some women, but no clear evidence exists of its affect on vaginal dryness