Vaginal problems can often reveal underlying issues within the area. It’s a good practice to get regular vaginal examinations done by your healthcare professional to be aware of any abnormalities in the area to avoid experiencing pain and discomfort.
Being aware of your vaginal health is vital, so ensure to discuss any sudden or ongoing changes you experience in the vaginal area with your doctor. Consult your healthcare professional if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Unusual odour (usually a fishy odour), change in colour, and amount of vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding after sex or after menopause
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Itching, redness, or soreness in the vaginal area
- Painful urination
- Frequency of urination or urgency
- Vaginal dryness
Vaginitis is caused due to inflammation in the vagina resulting in itching, pain, and discharge. It can be caused by an imbalance of the vaginal bacteria or due to an infection. Reduced estrogen levels in menopausal women and some skin disorders can also be symptomatic of vaginitis.
The colour, texture, and odour of your vaginal discharge can indicate the type of vaginitis you may have. These include:
- Bacterial vaginosis can cause a grayish-white discharge with a fishy odour.
- Yeast infection primarily causes itching, but it can be accompanied by a thick discharge that has a cottage cheese-like texture.
- Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that results in greenish-yellow discharge that also appears to be frothy.
Vaginal atrophy is another type of vaginitis caused by a significant decrease in the female hormone estrogen, often referred to as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Low levels of estrogen cause the vaginal tissue to shrink, become thin and dry. This can be a symptom of Menopause. Unlike other menopausal symptoms, vaginal dryness can persist for a long duration for time.
Some risk factors of vaginitis include:
- Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, use of birth control medications, or menopause
- Use of antibiotics and steroids
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Sexual intercourse
Vaginal dryness can be painful, cause irritation, and even light bleeding during intercourse, which can be experienced by women at any age. The most common causes of vaginal dryness among premenopausal women include the use of antidepressants, progestin-only birth control pills, breastfeeding, and other medical conditions.
Did you know that Repagyn offers a hormonal-free solution for vaginal dryness?
Learn more here
Treatment and Prevention:
Symptoms of vaginitis and vaginal dryness can often be alleviated using Repagyn to help with the itchy, dry sensation in the vaginal area. It can help restore moisture in the vagina and provide much-needed relief. However, if the symptoms persist, then visit your doctor for an investigation. Your doctor may prescribe estrogen tablets in combination with a lubricant for relief.
Ensure to maintain good hygiene by keeping the vaginal area clean and dry at all times. Avoid using fragrant products or douching, as it may cause irritation and potentially heighten your symptoms. Avoid wearing tight clothes and fabrics that hold heat and moisture. Instead, opt for fabrics that are breathable, loose and choose cotton underwear. Consume yogurt, as it contains prebiotics that can help balance out the bacteria in the vagina.
VIDEO: Understanding and Managing Vaginal Dryness
VIDEO: Vaginal Health Matters
An educational series on navigating Menopause, and Vaginal Dryness, by a pelvic health expert
VIDEO: Vaginal Dryness Overview
Vaginal dryness is a common problem for women during and after menopause, but this isn’t the only reason women suffer from it. Despite how irritating and uncomfortable it can be, many women do not address vaginal dryness with their health care provider. If you are experiencing symptoms of vaginal dryness, speak to your nurse or doctor.
VIDEO: Cancer and Medication Conditions
Women undergoing chemotherapy often have severe side effects resulting in vaginal dryness and irritation. In addition, there are several other vaginal conditions and surgeries that can greatly affect a woman’s quality of life and her relationship. The need to feel normal again is shared by many women, here are some of their stories.