Now, what do you do if you have pain with sex that’s related to a change in that skin or an atrophy or a thinning of the vaginal skin? Well, there’s a number of things that you can do. You can start by having non-prescription non-hormonal workarounds. Things like over the counter vaginal moisturizers that you put in multiple times per week on a regular basis that can work over the long-term as a vaginal moisturizer, or you could get vaginal application of prescriptions. Some are hormonal, some are non-hormonal. The most common would be a vaginal estrogen, which can come in a ring, a cream or a tablet that you put inside the vagina. And then there are non hormone prescription vaginal applications as well. One is a steroid all of these things. You can talk to your healthcare provider about. If you needed hormones for other reasons, say you had hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, or other menopausal symptoms.
Then you could be put on a menopausal hormone therapy, which you would take either by a pill or a patch or a gel that goes through your whole body. And sometimes that will help the vulva vaginal area and also make sex more comfortable. Definitely something to talk to your healthcare provider about. There is also a pill which you can take that is not a hormone and focuses symptom relief in the vulva vaginal area. It’s not a hormone and it’s taken orally. So it is something that will help the vulva vaginal area, but you’re not having to put a cream or an application in the vulva vaginal area. And that is a SERM. It’s a selective estrogen receptor modulator. Now there are other treatments available. There are things like laser therapy, radio-frequency therapy led light therapy and other modalities that may help the vulva and vaginal area. And we always want to be sure we’re talking to our healthcare provider to make sure that the treatments that we are considering are safe are well-studied and are appropriate for our situation.