Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal Dryness Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of vaginal dryness:

You may be experiencing vaginal dryness if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Soreness or pain inside your vagina
  • External itching and soreness of the vulva or vagina
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • The urge to urinate more than usual
  • Recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs)


Causes of vaginal dryness:

You could experience vaginal dryness resulting from any of the following:

  • Your body is preparing for, going through or has just been through the menopause
  • Breastfeeding
  • Contraceptive pills or antidepressants
  • Having your womb removed (a hysterectomy)
  • Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy

These things can cause a change in your hormone levels. This change can affect how much vaginal discharge or fluid you have.

You can also experience vaginal dryness if you:

  • Have low libido (reduced sex drive)
  • Use perfumed soaps, washes or douches in and around your vagina
  • Have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or Sjögren's syndrome

Treating Vaginal Dryness

Most cases of vaginal dryness can be treated using over the counter products that are readily available. Try the below suggestions before you see a GP (if you are in a lot of pain and discomfort you should see your GP). You can find most of them in your local pharmacy, health and beauty retailer (e.g. Boots) and online via Amazon, all without a prescription.


Things to Try (Do's)

Things to Avoid (Don't Do)

  • Vaginal moisturisers for vaginal dryness – you can put these inside your vagina to keep it moist. They are available in a range of formats including internal gels and pessaries 
  • Use un-perfumed soaps and washes around your vagina. Specific intimate washes are available but may not necessary if you are using an ordinary un-perfumed soap or wash
  • Try a water-based lubricant before/during sex - as directed by the product's instructions. You could also try more foreplay so you feel more aroused during sex
  • Do not use moisturisers in or around your vagina that are not specifically for your vagina

  • Do not put creams or lotions like petroleum jelly inside your vagina as it can cause an infection

  • Do not use perfumed soaps, washes and any douches in and around your vagina


Non-urgent Advice

See your GP if:

  • It's been a few weeks and things you have tried yourself are not working
  • It's affecting your daily life
  • You have unusual discharge or bleeding from your vagina
  • You have bleeding after sex or in between your periods
  • If you're getting vaginal dryness because of changes in your hormone levels, you may be prescribed creams, gels, patches or medicines to increase a hormone called oestrogen. This is called HRT

Menopause Information

The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman's oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51. However, around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether. Sometimes they can stop suddenly. The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones, which occurs as you get older. It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month. Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases, there’s no clear cause.

Sometimes it’s caused by a treatment such as surgery to remove the ovaries, some breast cancer treatments, or it can be brought on by an underlying medical condition, such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.


Menopause Symptoms & Treatments

Menopause Symptoms:

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.

Common symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low mood or anxiety
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Problems with memory or concentration

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.


Menopause Treatments:

Typical treatments include:

  • Vaginal oestrogen creams, lubricants or moisturisers for vaginal dryness (such as Balance Activ Menopause Moisture Gel & Pessary)
  • HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy – tablets, skin patches, gels & implants that relive menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen
  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – a type of talking therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly


Where to Buy Balance Activ Moisturising Products

Balance Activ Moisture Pessaries and Gel are available from many retailers nationwide such as Boots and Superdrug and online via

Where to Buy