Symptom Checker

Don't put up with dryness

Don’t let vaginal dryness hold you back. Vaginal dryness is one of the most common menopausal conditions and it is estimated that 57% of post-menopausal and 15% of pre/peri menopausal women suffer with Vaginal dryness

While these symptoms are often associated with the menopause, they can affect you at any age – for instance, if you’re tired, stressed, using contraception, breastfeeding and some medications.

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.

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.


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