Vaginal dryness: ‘Discuss it with your partner and gp’ | Right away

Every week, Edwin de Vaal (47), a general practitioner in Nijmegen, answers a frequently asked or conspicuous question from his practice. This week is this: What can you do about vaginal dryness?

What is vaginal dryness anyway?

“Vaginal dryness is common in women from the age of transition. This is because all sorts of things happen in the hormonal area. The amount of estrogen decreases. This causes not only hot flashes, but also a decrease in the thickness of the mucous membrane and vagina and urinary tract. The mucous membranes in your vagina become drier, just as skin and eyes often become drier at this stage.”

What do you notice?

“Some women suffer a lot from it. It can cause urinary problems and increases the risk of cystitis. Many women also experience pain or irritation. Sometimes when cycling. What also happens frequently is pain during sex.”

“It often takes a little longer after the transition to get excited enough. Take your time.”

Edwin de Vaal, general practitioner

Of European research It turns out that women wait a long time before taking it to the doctor. Bad thing?

‘It’s a very difficult subject for many women, while it can have a big impact on how you feel as a woman and often on your love life. Because of this pain, many women don’t love it. But there is something to be done; just discuss it with both your partner and your doctor. This is perfectly normal. By the way, there is no problem for family doctors. We are used to it and see a wide variety of “embarrassing” complaints.”

What is there to do about vaginal dryness?

“What is very important is that you don’t make love until you have enough excitement, even if you’re not already in menopause. This gets the moisture production going and the sexing becomes smoother. Even if the mucous membrane is thinner due to reduced hormone production.”

“It often takes a little longer after the transition to get excited enough. Take your time. And there are also lubricants to support sex. I often recommend KY gel, on a water basis, but there are many more species. They can often also be ordered online. In honor, a vaginal cream can be prescribed with estrogens. Discuss with your gp what can be a suitable solution for you. Don’t wait too long.”

Why is this important?

Because it has a big impact on your love life in the first place. And maybe even on your psyche, your self-image and your self-esteem. And also because pain when making love can cause you to unknowingly tighten your pelvic floor muscles in such a way that it can no longer work at all. What happens sometimes is that partners start to fill things up for each other. ‘He’ll want to be back but it hurts, so me…’ or ‘She doesn’t want to make love anymore, that’s probably because I…'”

“It is important that you discuss the fun, but also less fun things like vaginal dryness with each other. Normally you make yourself a lover. This can also be the case for young women if they love insufficient arousal and do not get sufficiently moist, which hurts them. Never do this.”

Are there other causes of vaginal dryness?

“Sometimes there is a fungal infection that underlies the drought. It must then be fixed before the natural balance in the vagina can recover.”