Vaginal Dryness After Birth

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, What are the causes and treatments for vaginal dryness?

Question

After giving birth, I've been having very uncomfortable vaginal dryness. What causes this and what can I do about it?

Answer

After delivery, and while nursing, the level of female hormone known as estrogen is decreased. This causes thinning of the vaginal tissues, much like in menopause. Fortunately, this dryness is reversible when we cease nursing. I recommend that patients use vaginal moisturizers. If the patient continues to have symptoms, vaginal estrogen cream is also an option.

If a patient is not breastfeeding, other factors such as exhaustion or postpartum depression can contribute to the symptom of dryness. If a patient just doesn't feel right, another consideration would be to check her thyroid. Problems with the thyroid can occur in up to 10 percent of postpartum women.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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