We have had a very interesting conversation with Dr. Xavier Caparrós, gynaecologist, about vaginal dryness and other issues that stem from it.
What is vaginal dryness?
It is a type of condition that is a symptom rather than a cynical sign, as it depends on the subjective feeling of the patient. Measuring the flow level is very difficult because it is a very personal thing. There are women who, for example, have a lot of flow and when it decreases a little they notice a lot.
How is vaginal dryness detected?
The most important thing is for the patient to be aware of the changes her body has been able to produce, such as a change in sweat, flow or odor, changes in color or quantity of flow, etc. What we have to ask ourselves is whether something has changed about what we are accustomed to.
Once detected this should be shared with your gynaecologist to try to find out the source. This is imperative, since in a single review, the doctor can not accurately detect what happens if you do not have background knowledge.
And after that?
Depending on the timing of the cycle, the amount of flow may vary depending on the climacteric period (all hormonal changes that occur before menopause), if it is done a long time after the gynaecologist has spoken with the patient.
Secondly it is very important to see the quality of the skin; it might be irritated due to itching for example.
Finally, the state of the vaginal flora and the PH of the area will be taken into account. There are some people whose vaginal flora is absent, and therefore it will be much more difficult to perform any treatment.
Types of treatment for vaginal dryness
Depending on the origin of the disease, one type of treatment or another will be performed. For example, sometimes just changing soap is sufficient, as sometimes intimate soaps have a very acidic pH, and in the case of menopausal women, the opposite is needed, one that has a very alkaline pH.
There is an important concept called galenic, which are the characteristics of the excipient given to convey a substance. Galenic is very important as there are women who need to feel moisturized and therefore use creams with hilauronic acid that retain water, cream and oil. There are products that have up to 4 presentations of galenic: cream, ointment and spray. The active principle of concentration is the same but according to what you want to treat the galenic will have to be different.
Another thing to keep in mind is the tolerance of the person. There are people who do not tolerate the cream format as, for example, they are comedogenic.
In short, every woman is unique; so many things were valued to find the most appropriate treatment for each case.
What is the necessary care for my intimate area?
First of all, you have to take into account that the vagina has a self cleaning process; it generates the flow with the objective of cleaning and moisturizing. Therefore the vaginal showers would not be necessary unless some type of affection appeared. If we talk about the vulva is different, since it is an area exposed to sweat, urine, friction etc. So depending on the case may need a more specific type of care. However, washing systematically and in excess is not entirely good, as we can irritate and change the PH of the area. It is common for women with urinary incontinence to wash themselves many times throughout the day for fear of smelling, and perhaps with a soap that has a different pH than they need, which carries parabens and so on.
I recommend normal hygiene and as natural as possible, unless there is some specific type of ailment.
Is there any kind of prevention?
The most important thing is to avoid irritating external agents, such as chemically perfumed neutralizing pads, intimate soaps, etc. In many cases it is better to use a simple compress made of cellulose only instead of sophisticated ones. Natural and highly effective home remedies such as thyme water with bicarbonate, firstly soothing and antiseptic and secondly a pH modifier. You do not always need to act chemically to solve a problem. Nature is wise and it is good that we learn to listen to it.
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