Vaginal dryness is one of the most common signs of hormone imbalances in women. At Aging Gracefully in Jenks, Oklahoma, functional medicine specialist Michelle McElroy, DO, treats vaginal dryness with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT rebalances your hormone levels to relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness. To learn more, call Aging Gracefully or schedule an appointment online today.
Vaginal dryness occurs when the tissues inside the vagina don’t produce enough lubrication. Not only can vaginal dryness make sexual intercourse painful, but it may also lead to burning and irritation when you stand, exercise, or urinate.
While many conditions can cause vaginal dryness, a hormone imbalance is one of the most common culprits.
Many conditions can cause vaginal dryness, but the most common include:
Menopause, a transitionary period that occurs 12 months after a woman’s final period, causes a sharp decrease in the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. These plummeting hormone levels can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms, including vaginal dryness, low libido, and hot flashes.
A hysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes. Since the ovaries produce and release multiple essential hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, removing them can cause vaginal dryness.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that contributes to vaginal lubrication. Because birth control pills often lower your testosterone levels, they can lead to vaginal dryness and thinning vaginal walls.
Breastfeeding and the postpartum period can disrupt your normal hormone levels. When breastfeeding causes depleting estrogen levels, vaginal dryness and low libido can occur.
Since hormone fluctuations often cause vaginal dryness, rebalancing your hormone levels is an effective treatment. At Aging Gracefully, Dr. McElroy uses bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to restore your natural hormone levels.
Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the hormones your body already produces. As a result, they tend to have fewer side effects than traditional synthetic hormones. The risk of breast cancer is also substantially lower with BHRT than conventional hormone therapy. These hormones are available in oral pill, cream, gel, patch, infectable, and implantable pellet forms.
Dr. McElroy can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine which form of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is right for you. After designing your treatment protocol, she monitors your health to ensure the plan is working. Dr. McElroy reevaluates your treatment after about six months and makes any necessary adjustments.
To learn more about vaginal dryness, call Aging Gracefully or schedule an appointment online today.