For any woman, menopause is a daunting time especially when they have had experiences with their older family members. For some women, menopause can be calming and comes with little or no issues. This is what most women hope. There is another side of the spectrum which entails younger women who experience early menopause or start having menopausal symptoms before the onset of menopause. This is classified as perimenopause because it occurs between the ages of 30-50.
Vaginal Dryness in Perimenopause
Vaginal dryness happens when the natural lubricant that are found at the neck of the womb or cervix is missing. This lubricant keeps the vagina moist and makes it easy for penetration during sex. It also flushes the vagina naturally by keeping it smelling fresh and clean and eliminates dead cells, this natural lubricant is also responsible for preventing certain kinds of infection, like thrush. When this natural lubricant is missing from the opening of the vagina it causes it to be dry. Dryness in the vagina will make intercourse uncomfortable, and this is because of the absence of lubricant from the Bartholin gland. This gland when sexually excited causes additional lubrication to be present for the excessive friction that intercourse entails.
Women of perimenopause that experience this condition is generally embarrassed to talk about it and are reluctant to seek medical help. This is because they believe these symptoms are only relegated to older women in their 40-50 ages. However, this condition will affect some women as early as 30 years of age some even as early as 18 years old.
What causes Vaginal Dryness at this Age
Perimenopausal vaginal dryness can be caused by a number of issues. They are never considered and some young women will try to treat the symptoms on their own because they are similar to that of a yeast infection. Most issues of vaginal dryness for women of perimenopausal age are caused by hormonal changes, change to the texture of the vaginal discharge, it may become watery in texture, slightly discolored and has a distinct smell that is not familiar. Emotional issues may be one of the factors to vaginal dryness that many women do not consider, this can be caused by not being sexually aroused enough, hence the dryness during intercourse. Other factors that may cause vaginal dryness during perimenopause are some feminine hygiene products, harsh soaps, chemicals from the swimming pool, and some medical drugs like antibiotics or anti-depressants.
Managing Vaginal Dryness of Perimenopausal Women
- Use KY Jelly which is similar to the natural lubricant of the vagina
- Some over the counter vaginal creams, that may be used before intercourse
- Some Petroleum Jelly based product like Vaseline
- Oestrogen replacement may be used if the woman does not have an adverse reaction to this therapy
- Avoid using perfumed soaps, that can change the PH level of the vagina
- Engaging in longer foreplay to stimulate the additional natural lubricants before intercourse.