HT Family Physicians
Family Medicine located in Stockton, CA & Lodi, CA
You don’t have to go through menopause to be affected by vaginal dryness. Although the condition is most often associated with reduced estrogen levels — which is, of course, a major part of the menopause experience — a range of conditions can cause the kind of drop in estrogen levels that lead to vaginal dryness. The team of experts at HT Family Physicians in Stockton and Lodi, California, offer safe and effective treatment options for women affected by vaginal dryness. If you live in the greater San Joaquin area, call or book your appointment online today.
Vaginal Dryness Q & A
Why does menopause cause vaginal dryness?
Menopause is set into motion by a decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone, the reproductive hormones that control menstruation and make pregnancy possible.
Estrogen also plays a major role in maintaining normal vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity, and acidity.
Although these hormone levels begin to decline sometime in your late 30s, menopause doesn’t usually occur until you reach your late 40s or early 50s.
The transition into menopause typically is accompanied by a variety of physical and emotional symptoms directly related to the decreasing levels of reproductive hormones, including:
- Vaginal dryness and sexual discomfort
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Irregular menstruation, including skipped periods
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Mood changes and sleep problems
Some women also experience drier skin, thinning hair, and loss of breast fullness.
What else can cause low estrogen?
Your estrogen levels can drop for many reasons. If for example, you experienced vaginal dryness following a recent childbirth, chances are your estrogen levels are lower than normal and will level off on their own.
If you’re breastfeeding, however, your estrogen levels may remain low until you and your baby are done nursing.
Other common causes of lower estrogen levels include:
- Nicotine dependence
- Ovarian cancer treatment
- Perimenopause, or the transition into menopause
- Oophorectomy, or ovary removal surgery
- Complete hysterectomy
- Certain allergy and cold medications
How can MonaLisa Touch® help?
MonaLisa Touch uses advanced fractional CO2 laser technology to rejuvenate the tissues that line your vaginal canal. It’s widely considered to be the safest, gentlest, and most effective way to treat vaginal dryness and prevent vaginal atrophy.
MonaLisa Touch can help return proper trophic balance to your vaginal tissues and restore vaginal functional. The therapy is just as effective for women who are dealing with the symptoms of menopause as it is for younger women who are experiencing hormone-related symptoms for other reasons.
MonaLisa Touch laser treatments can help address vaginal dryness as well as:
- Vaginal burning, or itching
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal laxity, or loose tissues
- Stress urinary incontinence
What are my other treatment options?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or the supplementation of reproductive hormones that your body no longer makes, is also used to address the symptoms associated with low estrogen and menopause. Low-dose systemic estrogen, which comes in the form of a pill, skin patch, gel, cream, or spray, can help:
- Improve vaginal dryness
- Relieve hot flashes and night sweats
- Boost your energy levels
HRT is only a short-term treatment, however, and generally isn’t suitable for pre-menopausal women. Even for some menopausal women, HRT may increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or gallbladder disease.
Ask your doctor at HT Family Physicians if HRT is an option for you.