Vaginal dryness occurs when the vagina is not properly lubricated and healthy. This problem affects 58% of post-menopausal women, according to Women’s Health Concern. Fortunately, there are many effective home remedies to help women quickly address vaginal dryness, and these include:
Vaginal lubricants act quickly and provide temporary vaginal dryness relief. Lubricants limit the friction commonly associated with thin, dry genital tissue. They are sold in liquid or gel form and may be applied to the vagina and vulva prior to sex. In most instances, lubricants help midlife women who are dealing with vaginal dryness during sex.
Vaginal moisturizers are applied regularly and deliver vaginal dryness relief that generally lasts about three to four days. Moisturizers cling to the vaginal lining and are absorbed by the skin. They help reduce friction during sex, and in some cases, are sold with applicators for fast, seamless application into the vagina.
- Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements sometimes are used to treat vaginal dryness, and these supplements include black cohosh, soy isoflavones, and hormone-regulated supplements. Black cohosh, a perennial plant native to North America, is a phytoestrogenic herb that adds plant-based estrogen to the body. Soy isoflavones are present in soybeans, tofu, and other soy-based products and have been shown to help reduce vaginal dryness. Hormone-regulating supplements support the hormonal glands and help them produce natural estrogen, the primary female sex hormone.
The aforementioned remedies may or may not help women fully address vaginal dryness. If these remedies fail to deliver vaginal dryness relief, an individual should consult with a urologist to learn more about vaginal dryness and find the right vaginal cosmetic treatment.
What is Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness is a symptom of menopause, a natural decline in the reproductive organs that takes place in a woman’s 40s or 50s. It becomes more common after a woman experiences menopause but can occur at any age.
Typically, the walls of the vagina are lubricated with a thin layer of clear fluid. Estrogen helps the body maintain this fluid and keep the lining of the vagina healthy and elastic. When a woman goes through menopause, however, her estrogen levels fall. This reduces vaginal moisture and makes the vagina thinner and less elastic than ever before.
Menopause is one of the most common causes of estrogen loss, but it is important to note that there are other reasons why a woman’s estrogen levels may decline. These reasons include:
- Childbirth and breastfeeding
- Use of anti-estrogen medications to treat uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths in the uterus) or endometriosis (disorder that causes tissue that grows naturally inside the uterus to grow outside the uterus)
- Removal of the ovaries via surgery
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat cancer
Furthermore, there are many reasons why a woman ultimately may experience vaginal dryness, such as:
- Allergy and cold medications
- Sjögren’s syndrome (autoimmune disorder that attacks cells in the body that produce moisture)
The topic of vaginal dryness may be difficult to discuss with a urologist. Yet doing so can be beneficial for all parties involved. If a woman shares her vaginal dryness concerns with a urologist, she can work with this medical professional to identify and alleviate the problem.
How to Treat Vaginal Dryness
If vaginal dryness impacts a woman’s lifestyle, it may be time to schedule a consultation with a urologist. In many cases, a urologist will recommend vaginal cosmetic surgery for a woman who feels uncomfortable, embarrassed, or unhappy with the appearance or feel of her genitals. The benefits of vaginal cosmetic surgery can be significant. Additionally, many vaginal cosmetic surgeries are available to help women address vaginal dryness and other genital issues.
Vaginal rejuvenation treatments are designed to tighten or reduce the size of specific areas of the genitals. Depending on the vaginal area that a woman wants to treat, a urologist may recommend one or more of the following vaginal cosmetic treatments:
- Labiaplasty: Labiaplasty involves the removal of excess labial tissue. It reduces the size or adjusts the symmetry of the labia (inner and outer folds of the vulva). That way, labiaplasty helps women create a more aesthetically pleasing vaginal shape and size, as well as helps ensure women can walk or sit comfortably. A labiaplasty also may help women feel more comfortable when they wear bathing suits and other form-fitting outfits. Labiaplasty often is performed as an outpatient procedure. On average, a labiaplasty takes between 15 minutes to 1 hour to complete, and patients usually can return home the same day as treatment. Moreover, labiaplasty recovery usually requires no more than two to three days. Most labiaplasty patients can return to work within days of surgery, and full treatment results become transparent within a few weeks.
- ThermiVa: This procedure involves the use of thermistor-regulated radiofrequency (RF) energy waves to gently heat the skin and helps vaginal tissues become tighter and firmer. During a ThermiVa procedure, a surgeon uses RF waves to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production. This helps reduce loose, stretched, or excess skin. ThermiVa treatments are performed at outpatient surgery centers. The procedure involves the use of a smooth, “S” shaped hand piece to target inner and outer labia, the vaginal canal, and other internal and external vaginal areas. A typical ThermiVa treatment requires only about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Oftentimes, a surgeon asks a patient to undergo at least three ThermiVa treatments over the course of four months to ensure optimal results. Then, within about nine to 12 months of a full ThermiVa treatment, a patient can reap the benefits of full treatment results, including improved vaginal nerve function and muscle tone.
- Minimally Invasive Surgery: There is no shortage of minimally invasive surgery options available to repair the vagina. These options include:
- Sling Procedures: A pubovaginal sling is frequently used to treat stress urinary incontinence, a problem that affects between 15% and 60% of all women. This procedure involves the placement of a band of sling material directly under the bladder neck or mid-urethra. Other sling procedures used to treat stress urinary incontinence include the use of a vaginal wall suburethral sling to help restore urethral resistance and the use of tension-free vaginal tape at the mid-urethra.
- Robotic Surgery: With robotic surgery, the da Vinci Surgical System is used to administer minimally invasive vaginal cosmetic surgery. The da Vinci system includes an ergonomic surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-performance 3D HD vision system, and proprietary EndoWrist® instruments. It is designed to scale, filter, and translate a surgeon’s hand movements and often helps surgeons ensure better clinical outcomes than those possible with conventional surgical technologies.
- Bladder Augmentation: Bladder augmentation is intended for individuals with a bladder that is not large enough to hold urine produced by the kidneys, a problem that otherwise causes bladder leakage. The procedure helps reduce bladder pressure and improve bladder elasticity.
- Prolapse Repair: Pelvic organ prolapse causes one or more of the pelvic organs to move from its original position. The disorder may affect the uterus, top of the vagina, and other pelvic organs. Obliterative or reconstructive surgery may be used to address pelvic organ prolapse. Obliterative surgery enables a patient to narrow or close off the vagina, while reconstructive surgery allows a patient to reconstruct the pelvic floor in the hopes of restoring the affected organs to their original positions.
The right vaginal cosmetic treatment varies from patient to patient, but a consultation with a urologist ensures a patient can learn about all of the aforementioned treatment options. The consultation enables a urologist to perform a complete patient evaluation to determine an individual’s candidacy for a variety of vaginal cosmetic treatments, along with respond to a patient’s surgery concerns and questions.
Schedule a Vaginal Cosmetic Treatment Consultation with Comprehensive Urology Today
The Comprehensive Urology Medical Group in Beverly Hills helps patients address vaginal dryness and other genital issues. Our friendly, knowledgeable urologists offer advanced vaginal cosmetic treatments that deliver proven results. To find out more our vaginal cosmetic treatment options, please contact us today at (310) 499-2756 to schedule a consultation.