HEALTH

What to Do When You’re All Dried Up Down There

4 min read
What to Do When You’re All Dried Up Down There

Women get the short end of the stick when it comes to nature’s little ‘surprises’ as we advance in years. 

To start with, everything tends to head south our breasts, our bums, even our faces tend to sag after a while! By the time we hit 50 (or thereabouts), we are more than likely stuck in the middle of a vicious storm of hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings. PMT has nothing on this! Another common symptom, but one which tends to be kept under wraps, is vaginal dryness.

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via bustle.com

Caused by hormonal changes, emotional and psychological issues, anxiety and also some medication side effects, vaginal dryness is a common and frustrating problem.

More than half post-menopausal women over the age of 50 will be affected, with painful sex being one of the most common symptoms, not only impacting the quality of life but also relationships.

In addition, pain at other times may also make it uncomfortable to sit, stand, exercise, urinate or work. Contributing factors to vaginal dryness in older women include:

Hormones

The vagina depends on oestrogen for health and leading up to and during menopause these levels decrease.  Other factors which will affect our oestrogen levels are childbirth and breast feeding as well as cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation resulting in a decrease in vaginal lubrication.

Anxiety

Stress and anxiety may also be a contributor, reducing blood flow and drying out mucus.

CaL0 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Medications

Some medications such as allergy and cold medications containing antihistamines as well as antidepressants and some asthma treatments can also cause a drying effect on the mucus membranes inside the body.

Irritants

Chemicals in soaps, hygiene products and dyes and perfumes can all have an impact on our vaginal health. Swimming pools, spas and even some lubricants may also be factors.

Treatments

Treatments largely depend on the cause.

Oestrogen Therapy

If the problem is due to hormonal changes, oestrogen therapy may be of benefit in reducing the discomfort and pain during sex, correcting the vaginal PH and regulating bacteria. Local oestrogens in the form of tablets, creams, etc are not like conventional HRT as the effects are local, therefore reducing the risks.

Moisturisers

Moisturisers are available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy one application can last several days. Natural products, stuff you may find around your home – such as coconut oil, vitamin E capsules and soy-based creams may also be useful.

Lubricants

Lubricants can be used to make sex less uncomfortable but are not a long term solution to the problem. Water-based products are the way to go as oil-based lubricants can also harbour bacteria and cause infections. Also, oil-based products should not be used in conjunction with condoms as the oil weakens the latex.


lubricant gel fotolia 184085770 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au
Image via Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists

 

 

Maintaining good health and taking care of your body is most important and can be helpful in managing symptoms. The following points are a great guide for anyone, not just menopausal women.

1. Eat a healthy diet.

This includes all the essential nutrients, especially good fats such as avocado and nuts.

All Dried Up Down There | Stay at Home Mum

2. Exercise regularly.

Grab a friend and establish a routine together.

bigstock Now Some Stretching Exercises 410070451 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

3. Drink plenty of water.

Ensure you stay hydrated especially in the warmer weather.

All Dried Up Down There | Stay at Home Mum

4. Use non-drying cleansing agents.

Use PH-balanced cleansing agents which don’t dry out your skin.

Some women will find vaginal dryness difficult, perhaps embarrassing, to talk about to their doctor or their partner, so it becomes a silent problem. Considering that we spend one third of our lives in a post-menopausal state, our quality of life should be our top priority at all times.

The hardest part will be taking the first step, so next time you visit your GP, don’t gloss over the embarrassing questions. Take a deep breath and speak up.

Isn’t it time you take responsibility for your own inner health and make the most of every day spent on this beautiful earth?


If you become concerned about any symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. We have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice.

SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.

 

What to Do When You're All Dried Up Down There | Stay at Home Mum

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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