Vaginal dryness and soreness is a symptom experienced by almost every woman journeying through perimenopause into the menopause, because of decreasing hormone levels.
Why do we get vaginal dryness and soreness during menopause?
Our vaginal lining is usually red in colour, plump in appearance and physically moist. As perimenopause approaches, our oestrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate and fall. This affects the natural lubrication produced by the glands in the cervix, which work to keep moisture moving down into the vagina. This moisture is what keeps the vagina clean and healthy, because its slightly acidic profile works to remove dead cells to prevent infections. The vaginal lining in menopause gradually becomes light pink in colour, thinner in appearance and physically less elastic.
Vaginal soreness and painful sex
Vaginal changes during menopause can naturally feel very challenging to accept since it is such a vital part of our female body and the discomfort and pain can trigger a lack of self confidence, especially in our sexuality. Sex can feel painful and uncomfortable due to a loss of lubrication which means the skin around the vagina can be damaged easily due to more friction during intercourse. Painful sex isn't something we desire and so we tend to crave intercourse less. Whether we are sexually active or not, this symptom can affect our quality of inner and outer life.
Vaginal changes and the menopause
Standing, exercising, urinating or even sitting working can feel disrupted with soreness from vaginal dryness. We may also feel confused to see other bodily changes, such as vaginal discharge becoming more watery, discoloured and slightly smelly, which can feel worrying. However, these are all normal and temporary reflections of the hormonal changes in menopause.
What can help with my vaginal dryness and soreness?
It is important to know that whilst this may feel like an embarrassing symptom that you wish to keep to yourself, accepting that this is a normal and common part of menopause is the first step to helping yourself. There are many ways in which you can restore your sexual desires, loosen the strain on your relationship with your partner and improve your general quality of life. Vaginal dryness does not need to be treated as an uncontrollable part of menopause, it is something we can actively overcome.
Popular remedies for vaginal dryness and soreness
- Use natural lubricants like coconut oil for daily life and sexual intercourse
- Avoid perfumed soaps as they can cause dryness
- Use vaginal gels/creams to treat vaginal skin soreness
- Take more time for foreplay before sexual intercourse, to produce more lubrication
- Consider foods that contain Vitamin E, zinc and magnesium
- Consume plant based foods that contain naturally occurring hormones like soya and flaxseeds to increase oestrogen levels
If you are finding that your symptoms are really starting to be troublesome, do speak to your GP or healthcare practitioner who will be able to advise about other treatments.
Become™️ has a wonderful team of experts who all helped in the writing of this content. The opinions expressed within this page are the opinions of many people we asked, and from information we researched online. Become™️ is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this page. All information is provided on an as-is basis.