35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Vaginal Dryness

by Magnolia on March 2, 2016

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Update: This post was originally written in 2010.  It has been edited and updated in 2016 to reflect the current positions and opinions of The Perimenopause Blog

Let’s face it. Vaginal dryness is not exactly a topic most women jump on the bandwagon to talk about.  Yet, it is a very real and common symptom of perimenopause.  And as with all the symptoms we suffer with in perimenopause, vaginal dryness is the result of hormonal fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone. Nothing new there, right?

Declining estrogen levels can upset the natural pH balance (acidic versus alkaline) in vaginal tissue causing a disruption in the natural moisture levels.  The leads not only to an obvious dryness, but  secondary symptoms such urinary tract infections can also result from the irritation as well.

If the pH environment of the vagina (which tends toward acidic) leans too far to the alkaline side, unwanted bacteria, such as yeast, can multiply causing the dreaded yeast infections that so many women suffer with.  In addition, low estrogen levels are also responsible for the thinning of the vaginal walls and a loss of elasticity, also known as vaginal atrophy. Both of which can give the sensation of vaginal dryness.

Things You Can Do

A lot of women resort to simple over-the-counter lubricants, but really, lubricants are, in my view anyway, just a temporary fix.  Once the lubricant is gone, vaginal dryness is back.  Though I think they have their place, certainly, promoting the natural moisture is the preferred route.

Probiotics, such as acidophilus milk and milk products, like yogurt, can help to put back necessary enzymes, which in turn helps to re-establish a healthy bacterial flora and therefore balance the pH environment of vaginal tissue.  If you are not too fond of yogurt or other milk based products you can find  probiotics in acidophilus tablet form instead.


Increasing phytoestrogens, which are plant based estrogens which are able to mimic our own body’s estrogens, can also help to increase vaginal moisture. Phytoestrogens can be  found in soy products which contain soy isoflavones and  other food sources such as flaxseed, flaxseed oils, legumes (beans), nuts, apples and cherries, just to name a few. Increasing phyoestrogens in your diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to combat vaginal dryness.

Taking a medical grade nutritional supplement, such as a multivitamin, to boost your body’s ability to heal itself by can be helpful. The preferred method of course is always by way of good, wholesome food sources.  But, if you find you need an extra kick, a good supplement can be helpful.

Vitamin A, beta carotene, and the B vitamins are particular helpful in treating vaginal dryness. And Omega-3, essential fatty acids not only help support health cell membranes in our body, but they also help promote hormonal balance as well.  And believe it or not, increasing your water consumption can be extraordinarily helpful. A well hydrated body has a much better chance of restoring a natural balance than one that is not.  Besides, it’s good for your skin too.

Estrogen Therapy

Because vaginal dryness in perimenopause is associated with fluctuating and low estrogen levels, the obvious answer to the problem is to increase estrogen. I personally use the Vivelle Dot Patch, a bioidentical estrogen.  In fact, vaginal dryness was one of the primary reasons I decided to use it.  It works extremely well.

If you are interested in estrogen therapy, I strongly recommend that you stay away from Premarin, a synthetic estrogen made from a pregnant mare’s urine, and Prempro, a synthetic combination of estrogen and progesterone.   Both Premarin and Prempro have associated with serious side effects.

That is not to say that bioidentical hormones are risk free.  They are not.  All hormone therapy has risks.  Bioidentical hormones are less risky. If you are interested in exploring  bioidentical hormones, you can download a PDF document here which lists all FDA approved bioidentical estrogens and progesterone, so you can discuss them with your doctor.

Things To Avoid

You know, some things are just a no brainer, like avoiding harsh douches (which includes vinegar).  And as much as we love our bubble baths, perfumed sanitary products, scented toilet tissues and soap, the perfumes can irritate vaginal tissue. The harsh douches, well, do I need to say it?

If you’re having serious issues with this, you might also want to consider washing your underwear in non-perfumed clothes detergent as well.  And of course, avoid tight clothing which can cause chaffing and rubbing and just make matters worse.

These are just a few suggestions that can help with vaginal dryness.  Thankfully ladies, we live in a time where we have lots of choices.  So let’s not suffer in silence or take this lying down.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn January 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm

THANK YOU! I have been suffering for over a year and even approached my doctor about it. Who (a woman) poo-pooed me when I said I thought I pre-menopausal symptoms. I have been searching for solutions for the dryness, not a band-aid.


Magnolia January 21, 2011 at 7:27 am

Is it not amazing that physicians can’t figure this out and we can? Maybe they should be paying us instead of us paying them, eh? I hope you are able to find some relief, Jenn. I just recently received a new product that I will be posting a review about soon. Please be soon and check back. It might be something you will find helpful.

thanks for stopping by!



Lara April 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Do you know anything about or have any info in Lichen Sclerosis?


Magnolia May 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

Hello Lara,

First of all, please accept my apologies for not answering you sooner. I do not know anything about Lichen Sclerosis. However, I did find this excellent link at a governmental website The National Institute of Health that provides some very good information on what it is and what the possible causes are:




Miss Y May 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Can anyone tell me of a connection between taking 81mg aspirin and vaginal dryness? I just started the aspirin in Feb. and am now experiencing dryness. I do not think menopause has hit because I still ovulate.


Magnolia May 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

Hello Yvonne,

I know nothing about the connection between aspirin and vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness which occurs during perimenopause and menopause is associated with estrogen levels. Here is an excellent article at Women to Women. A site by Dr. Christiane Northrup, that discusses vaginal dryness and causes:


I’m believe you, however, that you have noticed the timing of taking aspirin and vaginal dryness. I would definitely follow up with my physician if it continues to be a problem and perhas he/she can see what the connection is, if any.


Mrs Allen August 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I have vaginal dryness due to hormone imbalance, and I use organic pressed coconut oil, I just wanted to share so everyone who suffers can try it and see if it works for them.


Magnolia August 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Mrs. Allen,

Do you mind sharing how you use it exactly?



Karen November 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Does anyone have suggestions for depression or how hormone replacement can affect this?


Caron April 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm

I have itchy skin due to in perimenopause I do take hormone vitamin which has helped with my hot flushes but nothing seem to work with my itchy skin can any help


Magnolia April 6, 2015 at 10:01 am


I did a couple of posts on itchy skin and itchy scalp. If you check my drop down menu for categories, you should be able to find those posts.



Sarah September 28, 2015 at 12:58 am

If you have itchy skin you may want to look into increasing fatty acids??? Krill oil is best option for your omegas. I don’t have that problem but I just bought krill oil on dr mercolas site. Hoping it will help with my dry eyes.


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