How to use Vaginal Dryness Treatments

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There are a number of treatments for vaginal dryness that are available from the chemist.  They are personal lubricants which help to relieve the problem.

If these are not effective then your doctor may be able to prescribe topical oestrogen/estrogen that may be more effective for you.

Vaginal estrogen cream such as Estrace or Premarin is applied daily or according to a schedule (that will come with the directions from your doctor).

Use the vaginal cream as follows:

1.       The cream should be sealed when you unscrew the cap from the tube.  The cap comes with a point inlaid to its top; use this to pierce the seal.

2.       Screw the nozzle applicator onto the neck of the tube

3.       Squeeze from the bottom of the tube to fill the applicator.  Check the markings on the applicator to get the right dose, as prescribed by your doctor.

4.       Unscrew the applicator and lie on your back, with your knees pulled into your chest.

5.       Gently put the applicator into the vagina and press the plunger to insert the cream.

6.       Take the applicator out of the vagina.

7.       It can be cleaned by rinsing it in soap and water and take it apart to get all the old cream out.

Other formulations of vaginal estrogen are a vaginal ring and vaginal tablets.

Use the vaginal tablet as follows:

1.       Take one applicator from the strip in the box.

2.       Remove the applicator and stand with one leg on a chair, on the side of the bath or similar, or lie down comfortably. 

3.       Hold the applicator in one hand and apply it to the vaginal opening (similar to using a tampon) and rest your finger on the plunger of the applicator.

4.       Insert the applicator into the vagina as far as it will comfortably go and then gently press the plunger.  This puts the tablet into the vagina.

5.       Remove the applicator and discard it in the trash.

The tablet is designed to slowly dissolve in the vagina.

The vaginal ring should be used as follows:

1. Wash your hands and dry thoroughly.

2. Take the ring from its packet and stand with one leg on a chair, side of the bath or similar. If this isn’t comfortable you can either squat or lie down.

3. Hold the vaginal ring between your thumb and forefinger and gently squeeze sides of the ring together.

4. Push the ring into the vagina and use your forefinger to position it high into the vagina.

5. It doesn’t need to be in any particular position but it’ll be more comfortable (and less likely to come out) if it is as high and as far back in the vagina as possible. It won’t go past the cervix and can’t get lost inside you.

6. Wash and dry your hands.

The ring stays in place for 3 months and then needs to be replaced. It stays in place while you’re having sex.

If the vaginal/pelvic floor muscles are weak it may be more likely to come out. If it does, it can be re-inserted after it’s been washed in warm water.

Remove the ring in the following way:

1. Wash your hands and stand/lie in the comfortable position you used when you inserted it.

2. Put your finger into the vagina, feel for the ring and hook it out.

3. Wrap it in toilet paper and dispose of it in the trash.

4. Wash your hands.

Side effects of topical estrogen.

Very little of the topical estrogens are absorbed into the body. Even so, your doctor may not prescribe it if you have a history of hormone-sensitive breast cancer.

There are few common side effects but tell your doctor if you have any of the following that are severe or don’t go away:

· Nausea

· Breast pain or tenderness

· Vomiting

· Depression

· Irritability

· Changes in sexual desire

· Acne or patchy darkening of the skin

· Leg cramps

· Back pain

· Difficult or painful urination.

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