Vaginal dryness is an uncomfortable and often embarrassing condition that many women face. It may be a result of menopause, injury, childbirth or an ongoing health problem. Vaginal dryness cream can be obtained by prescription, and it is also available as an over-the-counter product. It is designed to counteract this condition and allow for comfort and lubrication of the vagina by simulating or stimulating the natural lubricant produced by the vagina.
Vaginal dryness poses a problem for women because the natural fluids of the vagina keep the vaginal walls from rubbing against each other uncomfortably. The acidic nature of the fluid also helps ward off infections and keeps the right bacteria in balance. There are two main types of vaginal dryness cream designed to help with this problem: estrogen cream and non-estrogen based formulas. Estrogen-based creams are available by a prescription only.
Estrogen-based vaginal cream for dryness is typically used as a substitute for female hormone replacement therapy. It is used nightly for several weeks then twice or once a week thereafter. These products are typically only prescribed to women with an estrogen deficiency due to aging, diabetes or other problems that inhibit the body's production of estrogen. Other women may find that using a water-based lubricant is just as easy.
One of the main downsides to vaginal dryness cream is that it is messy. Some vaginal dryness creams come with plastic applicators to help with the insertion of the cream into the vagina. These applicators must be washed after every use and may provide too much cream. The most tried and true method for applying cream for vaginal dryness is to use a sparing amount on your fingers. Some women may find this uncomfortable at first, but it becomes easier with time and practice.
In addition to using cream for vaginal dryness, there are some steps you can take to eliminate problems that may exacerbate your condition. The use of diaphragms, douches, drying soaps, tampons and condoms are all contributing factors to vaginal dryness, although some women find that condoms help increase natural lubrication during intercourse. Women using antidepressants, antihistamines and decongestants may have a hard time fighting vaginal dryness. Women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also find vaginal dryness is a problem.
Only a doctor can determine whether a vaginal dryness cream would be beneficial. Speak to a licensed family care physician or gynecologist to examine your options. A doctor can work to eliminate or treat any underlying health problems or infections that may be causing vaginal dryness.