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What Are My Options?

There are many effective options available to help relieve vaginal dryness. These include topical or oral forms of hormonal and non-hormonal options such as suppositories, creams, lubricants, gels, moisturizers, tablets and estrogen therapies.

The most commonly used options are lubricants, moisturizers and hormonal (estrogen) therapy. Hormonal therapies are prescribed by a doctor, while other options such as moisturizers are provided over the counter. The table below (adapted from the North American Menopause Society) explains the options most commonly used.

Don’t suffer in silence! There are treatment options available to help get relief, ranging from non-hormonal to hormone therapies
Non-Hormonal Options
Vaginal Lubricants
  • Reduce discomfort with sexual activity when the vagina is dry by decreasing friction
  • Water-soluble products are advised, because the oil in some products may cause vaginal irritation
Vaginal Moisturizers
  • Line the wall of the vagina (adding topical moisture) and maintain vaginal moisture
  • Like the face or hands, the vagina should be moisturized on a regular basis (for example, several times weekly at bedtime)
Oral Estrogen Agonist/Antagonist
  • An oral tablet for the treatment of painful intercourse secondary to vaginal atrophy
  • Has tissue selective effects; its actions are mediated through binding to estrogen receptors, which results in activation of estrogenic pathways in some tissues (agonism) and blockade of estrogenic pathways in others (antagonism)
Regular Sexual Stimulation
  • Promotes vaginal blood flow and secretions. Sexual stimulation with a partner, alone, or with a device (such as a vibrator) can improve vaginal health
Expanding your views of sexual pleasure
  • Include “outercourse,” such as extended caressing, mutual masturbation, and massage is an effective way to make painful vaginal penetration (intercourse) more comfortable or provide a way to remain sexually intimate in place of intercourse.
Vaginal dilators
  • Can stretch and enlarge the vagina after many years of severe vaginal atrophy, especially if sexual activity is infrequent and the vagina has become too short and narrow for intercourse
Pelvic floor exercises
  • Can both strengthen weak vaginal muscles and relax tight ones

Vaginal dryness and atrophy that are not relieved by lubricants or moisturizers may respond to estrogen therapy (ET), as lack of estrogen is often the cause of the problem. Prescription ET has been proven to restore the thickness and elasticity of vaginal tissue, restore a healthy vaginal environment, and relieve vaginal dryness. Improvements usually occur within a few weeks of starting therapy, although severe problems can take many months to improve.

Hormonal Options
Systemic Doses of Estrogen
  • Can be used for hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal symptoms, and osteoporosis prevention; it is absorbed in the blood at high enough levels to have significant effects on all parts of the body (available as an oral tablet)
  • If only vaginal symptoms are present, low doses of estrogen applied to the vagina are recommended
Local (Vaginal) Low-Dose Estrogen
  • Placed directly in the vagina safely treat vaginal symptoms, such as dryness and pain with sex (available as a vaginal cream, ring, or tablet)
  • May be appropriate for long-term use, as absorption into the bloodstream is minimal and may be an option for women after cancer of the breast and uterus, although risks and benefits must be weighed in each case

RepaGyn® is a hormone free option to help relieve vaginal dryness and help promote healing of vaginal tissue

Sources +

MenoNote: Vaginal Dryness. 2014. Consumer Education Committee of the North American Menopause Society. Accessed from:
http://www.menopause.org/docs/for-women/mndryness.pdf

The Menopause Guidebook. Seventh Edition. 2014. North American Menopause Society. ISBN 978-0-9701251-4-9