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    Consumer Health: Treating vaginal dryness after menopause

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Menopause is the time that marks the end of a woman's menstrual cycles. Menopause is a natural biological process, but in the months or years leading up to menopause, called perimenopause, the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disruption and mood changes, can be challenging.

Vaginal dryness, a result of the natural decline in your body's estrogen levels during menopause, can be a problem for many postmenopausal women. With this condition, vaginal tissues become thinner and more easily irritated, and it may result in painful intercourse.

Regular sexual activity or vaginal stimulation — with or without a partner — also helps maintain healthy vaginal tissues in women after menopause. There also are are a number of treatments your health care provider can recommend, if needed.

Learn more about treating vaginal dryness after menopause from Dr. Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, a Mayo Clinic OB-GYN.

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