Berman Sexual Health

Step 4: Treat the problem directly with a good vaginal moisturizer

In addition to treating the underlying physiological, emotional and psychological causes of dryness, there are a number of safe, over-the-counter treatments specifically designed to alleviate this problem. Among them, one of the best and longest acting is Replens Vaginal Moisturizer. Studies have shown Replens to be an effective compliment to vaginal estrogen creams in treating dryness and it works well without estrogen. (20) Lubrin is another product found over the counter.

Replens has been proven safe and effective for women suffering from cancer and taking medications including Tamoxifen. (21) It alleviates vaginal dryness safely and quickly for those with diabetes, after childbirth, during and after menstruation, and during sexual intercourse, particularly with a partner taking Viagra. A moisturizer differs significantly from lubricant, and should be used in different situations. Vaginal lubricants are short-term help used to ease discomfort with sexual intercourse and do not correct the vaginal dryness.

{mosbanner:id=1:right:0}Replens is made with the bioadhesive ingredient, Polycarbophil, that re-moisturizes and normalizes the vagina, replenishing and maintaining natural moisture for up to three days per application. In a clinical study of 89 peri- and post-menopausal women suffering vaginal dryness, the Replens polycarbophil-based lubricant was found by over 61 percent to be the preferred option over the two other options: estrogen hormonal replacement therapy, and KY Jelly, a non-prescription water-based lubricant. (22)

What else works?

Normally, the vagina is moist and slightly acidic (pH around 4.5). As estrogen levels decrease during menopause and other life events, vaginal fluids generally become less acidic, increasing the vaginal alkalinity and vaginal dryness occurs. Some of the problems associated with this condition include inflammation and thinning of the vaginal lining, vaginal bleeding, increased urge to urinate, leakage of urine, and vaginal infections.

K-Y Jelly, an inexpensive, water-based product is easily found in local stores but it will not correct the underlying problem, as a vaginal moisturizer such as Replens will.

Astroglide is another water-based lubricant found over-the-counter. (23) It comes in tubes or pre-packaged single-use amounts in an applicator that must be inserted by pushing the product up the vaginal tract like a tampon. Like K-Y jelly, it is an excellent lubricant but is short acting and does not moisturize. Silken Secrete is another short acting product.