Vaginal Dryness Specialist

Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center

Barbara Grazette, MD

Gynecology & Women's Health located in Edina, MN

Vaginal dryness is a common and uncomfortable problem for women as they enter menopause, but it can affect younger women too. If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, Barbara Grazette, MD, of Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center in Edina, Minnesota, is an outstanding gynecologist who can help you resolve vaginal dryness using a range of treatments that have proven results, like MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy. Call Dr. Grazette today to find out more, or book an appointment online.

Vaginal Dryness Q&A

What causes vaginal dryness?

The walls of your vagina normally produce natural secretions that form a layer of clear fluid providing constant lubrication. Estrogen produced by the ovaries stimulates the production of this fluid and helps keep your vaginal walls elastic, but if estrogen levels drop, production of the lubricating fluid slows down, and your vagina dries out.

A drop in estrogen levels can happen for a number of reasons, the most common being menopause. In the years before menopause, your ovaries slow down and cease production of estrogen, and vaginal dryness is a common side effect. Other reasons for a drop in estrogen levels include:

  • Giving birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Cancer treatment
  • Oophorectomy (surgical removal of ovaries)
  • Treatments for fibroids and endometriosis
  • Autoimmune disorder Sjögren's syndrome
  • Some antidepressants
  • Medications for colds and allergies
  • Douching

Vaginal dryness causes itching and burning and can be highly uncomfortable. It makes sexual intercourse painful and can have a serious impact on your sex life.

How is vaginal dryness diagnosed?

When you visit Dr. Grazette at Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center, your symptoms will indicate to her that you have vaginal dryness, so she then needs to check why you’re experiencing this problem. She examines your vagina to see if there’s any thinning of the tissues or inflammation, and she may take a sample of cells for testing. She also needs to rule out any infection in the vagina or urinary tract.

How is vaginal dryness treated?

The most frequently used treatment for vaginal dryness is topical estrogen to raise hormone levels in your vagina and promote natural lubrication. Using estrogen as a topical treatment means less of the hormone enters your bloodstream than it would if you were using hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

There are several ways to apply topical estrogen, and Dr. Grazette discusses each method with you so you can make an informed decision about which method suits you and your lifestyle. You can use a cream, tablet, or suppository that you place into your vagina at prescribed intervals, or Dr. Grazette can insert a flexible ring into your vagina that releases estrogen for three months at a time.

There are potential side effects with estrogen treatment, including bleeding and painful breasts. Some women are unsuitable for estrogen treatment, for example, pregnant women and those with:

  • Breast cancer
  • History of endometrial cancer
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Breastfeeding babies

There are alternatives to topical estrogen treatments. You can get an over-the-counter moisturizer specially made for the vagina, and use a sexual lubricant to make intercourse more enjoyable.

Dr. Grazette also offers the innovative MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy for restoring vaginal health and lubricity. This is a noninvasive, painless way of rejuvenating vaginal tissue that’s ideal for women who can’t or don’t want to use estrogen therapy.

To find out more about MonaLisa Touch and how Dr. Grazette can help you with vaginal dryness, call Women & Adolescents Gynecology Center today, or book an appointment online.