Vaginal lubricants:Available without a prescription, these products decrease friction and ease intercourse when the vagina is dry. Only water-soluble products should be used because oil-based products such as vaseline may actually increase irritation. Only products designed for the vagina should be used; avoid hand creams and lotions containing alcohol and perfumes, which may irritate tender tissue. (Examples of available vaginal lubricants include Astroglide, Moist Again, and Silk-E.)
Vaginal moisturizers:Also available without a prescription, these products improve or maintain vaginal moisture in women with mild vaginal atrophy (when tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina become thin, dry, less elastic, and less lubricated as a result of estrogen loss). They also help keep vaginal pH low, which ensures a healthy vaginal environment. (Examples include Replens and K-Y Long-lasting Vaginal Moisturizer.) These products can be used on a regular basis and offer a more lasting effect than vaginal lubricants.
Regular sexual stimulation: Last but certainly not least, women can maintain vaginal health through regular sexual activity, which promotes blood flow to the genital area.
For much more on these topics, visit The North American Menopause Society at www.menopause.org.
Want the latest beauty, fashion and lifestyle tips? Click here to sign up for our fabulous weekly newsletter!