How can I treat vaginal dryness and itching?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A variety of lubricants -- oil-, water-, and silicone-based -- effectively combat vaginal dryness. Talk to your gynecologist to see what brand she recommends. Saliva also works well as a lubricant and can enhance foreplay.

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Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

This is probably one of the most common problems that I see in my clinical practice. I cannot tell you how many times patients treat themselves with over-the-counter medications that might not solve the problem. So with that said, the first thing that one must do is - GO TO YOUR DOCTOR. You need an examination. You want to make sure that you do not have the most common problem which is a yeast infection. Not only can a yeast infection lead to itching but it can lead to dryness as well. You should encourage your doctor to do a vaginal culture just to make sure of the diagnosis. If you have a lot of recurrences, make sure your blood sugar is normal. This can be the first sign of diabetes.

Vaginal dryness and itching can also be caused by a lack of estrogen in the vagina. Remember you do not necessarily have to be menopausal to experience these symptoms. Many medications and conditions can also make you dry. This problem can be easily remedied by local treatment including some natural over-the-counter products. We covered this information on an episode on The Dr. Oz show when we were addressing how "things go south after 40". Check out the video and get more information.

It is best to see your doctor and get an examination to see what the cause is to see what the best treatment might be. Yeast infections can cause itching but this is often (not always) accompanied by discharge. In older women thinning of the vaginal tissues caused by estrogen loss might be the cause, in which case hormone replacement or vaginal moisturizers might be helpful.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.