What is vaginal discomfort?
Vaginal discomfort includes dryness, urinary incontinence as well as painful intercourse. If you think you are the only one that is suffering from this condition, let me say that you are not alone. Research shows that postmenopausal women and women that have had a hysterectomy are most likely to suffer from this condition. Over the last 13 years vaginal dryness/discomfort is one of the top three symptoms that most of our female patients commonly complain about.
What causes vaginal discomfort?
Low estrogen levels in the vaginal tissue are the main reason why a patient would suffer from these symptoms. For most patients, a low estrogen level begins around the age of 45. If you have had a hysterectomy or if you have early onset menopause you can experience symptoms of low estrogen at an earlier age.
Did you know that many women who take birth control or have an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) also suffer from vaginal dryness/discomfort? It turns out that birth control lowers the amount of testosterone produced by the ovaries and increases a protein secreted by the liver known as sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds to testosterone and makes the molecule inactive. The higher the SHBG level, the lower the functional testosterone level. Also, the synthetic progesterone component in some birth control pills actually turns off the testosterone receptor if given in high doses. Since both estrogen and testosterone receptors in the vaginal tissue contribute to lubrication, it is no wonder that low testosterone not only makes this area drier, but also more painful.
How can we help?
Recently the medications that are prescribed to treat vaginal dryness/discomfort and urinary incontinence have had a price increase and are, for some individuals, no longer covered by insurance companies. This increase in price has pushed some to ask for alternatives to these manufactured options. Our pharmacists are capable of creating a formulation that can provide you the most relief without the high cost. We are able to create the perfect balance that your body needs to relieve your symptoms of vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence and painful intercourse.
Let us help you overcome this by contacting Natalie Danielson, Pharm.D. or Anita Hester, RN at our pharmacy. You can reach me by email at email@example.com