Recent Blog Articles
Vitamin B6 flies under the radar: Are you getting enough?
The formula shortage is hurting families: What parents should know and do
Gyn Care 101: What to know about seeing a gynecologist
Swimming lessons save lives: What parents should know
Strong legs help power summer activities: Hiking, biking, swimming, and more
What is a successful mindset for weight loss maintenance?
French fries versus almonds: Calorie for calorie, which comes out on top?
Summer camp 2022: Having fun and staying safe
Finding balance: 3 simple exercises to steady your steps
An action plan to fight unhealthy inflammation
Don't ignore vaginal dryness and pain
The condition is treatable, although treatments likely won't provide complete relief.
Image: © vchal/Getty Images
Vaginal dryness occurs in women of all ages, but it becomes much more common after menopause. It's estimated that the problem affects about half of postmenopausal women — most of whom, possibly as many as 90%, don't seek treatment for their symptoms, which include not only dryness, but also irritation and pain during sexual intercourse.
The North American Menopause Society and the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health refer to this combination of menopausal symptoms, which are brought on by a drop in the body's estrogen production, as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
You might also be interested in…
A Guide to Women's Health: Fifty and forward
Midlife can be a woman’s halftime celebration. Not only can it be an opportunity to reflect on and rejoice in the life you’ve lived, but it is also a good time to plan your strategy for the future. A Guide to Women's Health: Fifty and forward will help you determine the conditions for which you are at greatest risk and do your best to avoid them. It will also help you to better manage chronic conditions that may erode your quality of life, and to deal with physical changes that are more bothersome than serious. It is designed to give you the information to make the choices today that will ensure you the best health possible tomorrow.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!