When to see your doctor about vaginal dryness
Ring of fire? Localised HRT to reduce vaginal dryness
Not the Johnny Cash song but we couldn’t resist. Estring is a soft vaginal ring, worn for three months that slowly releases a small, localised dose of oestrogen straight to the vagina, to reduce dryness. This is an HRT product available with a doctor’s prescription. Reviews seem mixed with some women talking about weight gain and discomfort but others finding it does the job. This would be something we’d suggest you discuss with your doctor.
Other options to manage vaginal dryness include topical vaginal creams or capsules applied directly into the vagina such as Ovestin, an oestrogen-only cream that is applied with an applicator. Or local HRT Vagifem capsules that contain oestrogen.
Symptoms will return once you stop using the ring, creams or pessaries.
(Your doctor can prescribe lubricants. If you're prone to bacterial infections or sensitive to glycerin and glycol ask for a lubricant free from these ingredients.)
We spoke with Christien Bird, Women's Health Physiotherapist, who gave helpful advice about how we can deal with vaginal atrophy. Watch our vlog on what she advises to prevent painful of sex.
And then there’s always HRT
HRT taken as a tablet, patch or gel can help deal with vaginal dryness by restoring hormone balance. Doctor’s will look at your unique circumstances and whether or not HRT is appropriate for you. The usual caveat here that this is something to be discussed with your doctor. There are pros and cons to taking HRT. See our vlog, What is HRT? and our conversation with our gynaecologist, Dr Karen Morton Talking HRT with Hot Flush. We don’t take a view. It’s for you to decide whether it’s for you or not.