Question : MY friend, who is 55, complains that her vagina is very dry, and that she is unable to have sex with her husband.
Answer : VAGINAL dryness refers to a lack of moisture of skin in vulva and vagina. It usually results from an oestrogen deficiency, which causes thinning, shrinking of tissues of vagina and decreased lubrication.
However, it is a natural condition and can affect all women over age of 18. Factors that may lead to oestrogen deficiency are pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, hysterectomy and use of fertility drugs. Emotional stress, rigorous exercise and fatigue can also cause vaginal dryness. About 10 to 40 per cent of women who've reached menopause suffer from vaginal dryness due to lower oestrogen levels.
The healthy vagina includes a small amount of bacteria and organisms. When vaginal balance is disrupted by overgrowth of these bacteria, another protective bacterium-lactobacilli is unable to perform its normal function. Sometimes sexual intercourse helps spread these anaerobic bacteria. Other things that can upset balance are antibiotics, diabetes, pregnancy, vaginal douching, wearing damp underwear, tight pants and synthetic pantyhose during hot weather, a poor diet and vaginal products (sprays, lubricants, steroids and birth control devices such as IUD).
A good urogenital health supplement to take is probiotics specially formulated for women's health. It helps to promote healthy vaginal flora. Look for a supplement that contains two clinically proven strains, Lactobacillus GR-1 and Lactobacillus RC-14 which have been shown in clinical trials to prevent urogenital problems in women.