Vaginal dryness during pregnancy is caused due to alteration in the level of hormones especially estrogen. The condition is accompanied by soreness, burning sensation, and itching. Alteration in the hormonal level reduces the secretion of mucus in the vagina. Various treatment options reduce dryness and associated symptoms. These include drinking sufficient water, using lubricants and moisturizers, maintaining vaginal hygiene and using comfortable undergarments.
What Is Vaginal Dryness?
The vaginal health of women is generally controlled by hormones. Any fluctuation in the hormonal level may lead to various vaginal symptoms. Hormonal fluctuations may be due to menopause, pregnancy or when the women are on hormonal replacement therapy. Out of these symptoms, vaginal dryness is common and easily identified symptoms. Vaginal dryness brings with it itching sensation and pain during sexual intercourse. Women have a burning sensation and the risk of urinary tract infection significantly increases. Dry spell during pregnancy is commonly encountered in the early days of pregnancy.
What Are The Causes Of Vaginal Dryness During Pregnancy?
The vaginal wall is responsible for the secretion of mucus into the vagina and keeping it moist. The secretion of mucus into the vagina serves various purposes including lubrication during sexual intercourse and creating a friendly environment for survival of sperm. The thickness of the vaginal wall, as well as the amount of mucus secretion, is controlled by the hormones, especially the estrogen. Estrogen in female dominating hormones and progesterone is responsible for presenting various female characteristics. Imbalance in the hormonal levels decreases the thickness of the vaginal wall and as a result, there is a reduced level of mucus secretion. As the level of estrogen drops at a rapid rate during the first trimester, most women complain of dry days during early pregnancy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vaginal Dryness During Pregnancy?
Vaginal dryness can easily be identified during pregnancy as various symptoms accompany this condition. This includes:
- Itching because of the low level of mucus and lack of moisturization.
- Burning and soreness around the vulva (entrance of the vagina).
- Painful intercourse or mild bleeding after intercourse due to lack of lubrication.
- Urinary tract infection is hard to treat or is frequently recurring.
- Mild vaginal discharge
How Vaginal Dryness Is Diagnosed?
Vaginal dryness is diagnosed through the following methods;
1. Physical Examination
Your doctor will perform a pelvic examination to analyze the level of mucus. During the pelvic examination, the doctor will also look at the vaginal walls if they are thin and pale or red.
2. Hormone Levels
Although there is a shift in the hormonal level during pregnancy the doctor may analyze the hormone levels to identify the actual cause of vaginal dryness and itching as there are various other causes for vaginal itching.
What Are The Treatment Options For Vaginal Dryness?
There are various treatment options for treating vaginal dryness during pregnancy. The natural cure for female dryness is also available. Following are some of the treatment options;
Drink plenty of water
As mucus mostly contains water, you should drink plenty of water during pregnancy.
Various lubricating gels are available which when used in the vagina reduces dryness and sufficiently moisturizes it. While doing sexual intercourse, it is suitable to use a water-soluble lubricant. It is to be noted that various ingredients are contraindicated during pregnancy. Use the lubricants after consulting with your doctor.
You should maintain hygiene in the vaginal area as dryness in the vagina increases the risk of infection. Use mild soap to wash the vagina and dry with a towel. Do not use scented soaps and avoid douches and bubble baths.
Check The Undergarments
Do not use undergarments made of synthetic material. This will worsen the condition, increase itching and make the area sore. Prefer to use the undergarments made of cotton.
Use a moisturizer containing Vitamin E to reduce the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
What Are The Other Causes For Vaginal Itching In Early Pregnancy?
Itching down there during early pregnancy may be due to various reasons. Although one of the most common reasons for vaginal dryness during pregnancy and subsequent itching is an alteration in hormonal levels, the presence of other factors may not be ruled out. If you have vaginal dryness and itching during pregnancy, consult with your healthcare provider. Following are some of the other causes of itching during early pregnancy:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
STI may negatively affect the health of your baby along with yours. It is important to consult with the doctor if you experience symptoms such as warts, fever, rashes and burning sensation.
Cholestasis Of Pregnancy
The reason for cholestasis of pregnancy remains unknown but it is believed that genetics and hormones have a role in causing this condition. This condition is characterized by excessive itching on the body including the vaginal area.
Itching may also be caused due to bacterial and fungal infection.
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and more.