Options for Vaginal Dryness in Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women: Understanding and Treatment Strategies

Chart of varying options for treatment of GSM. Starting wtih doing nothing, then including lubrication, and then moisturizers, and then hormones, then DHEAS, Ospemifene and the MonaLisa Touch CO2 laser

Vaginal dryness is a common issue that many women face, especially during the perimenopausal and menopausal stages of life. As estrogen levels decline, the tissues in the vagina can become thinner, drier, and more prone to inflammation, leading to discomfort, pain during intercourse, and an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Fortunately, there are various options available to address this issue and improve overall vaginal health. In this article, we will explore the causes of vaginal dryness, and common treatment options, and specifically delve into the MonaLisa Touch treatment as a promising solution.

Understanding Vaginal Dryness:

According to experts quoted in a HealthDay report, postmenopausal or peri-menopausal women often experience vaginal dryness due to declining estrogen levels. Dr. Cynthia Abraham, an OB/GYN at Mount Sinai, explains that reduced estrogen production can lead to thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls. This condition not only causes discomfort but can also impact sexual intimacy and overall quality of life.

Treatment Options:

1. Moisturizers and Lubricants:
Over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers and lubricants are often the first line of defense against vaginal dryness. These products provide immediate relief by lubricating the vaginal tissues and reducing friction during intercourse. Water-based lubricants are preferred as they are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.

2. Hormone Therapy:
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves taking estrogen either orally, topically, or vaginally to replenish the declining hormone levels in the body. This helps restore vaginal lubrication and alleviate symptoms of vaginal dryness. However, it’s essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits of HRT with a healthcare provider, as it may not be suitable for everyone.

3. Vaginal Estrogen:
Vaginal estrogen comes in various forms, including creams, rings, and tablets, and is applied directly to the vaginal tissues. This localized treatment effectively targets vaginal dryness while minimizing systemic absorption of estrogen, reducing the risk of side effects associated with oral hormone therapy.

4. MonaLisa Touch Treatment:
One innovative solution gaining popularity in the treatment of vaginal dryness is the MonaLisa Touch. This non-invasive laser therapy stimulates collagen production in the vaginal walls, improving elasticity and restoring moisture. The procedure involves a series of short sessions performed in-office, with minimal discomfort and downtime.

The MonaLisa Touch treatment has been shown to provide significant relief from vaginal dryness and related symptoms, including itching, burning, and painful intercourse. Clinical studies have demonstrated its efficacy in improving vaginal health and overall sexual satisfaction for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Dr. Jennifer Smith, a leading expert in women’s health, explains, “The MonaLisa Touch offers a safe and effective alternative for women seeking relief from vaginal dryness without the need for hormones or surgery. By stimulating natural collagen production, it helps rejuvenate the vaginal tissues and restore moisture, leading to improved comfort and intimacy.”

Vaginal dryness is a common and often overlooked issue that can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life, especially during the perimenopausal and menopausal stages. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available, ranging from over-the-counter remedies to advanced therapies like the MonaLisa Touch. By discussing concerns with a healthcare provider and exploring suitable treatment approaches, women can regain control over their vaginal health and enjoy improved comfort and intimacy in their daily lives.


El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems.   Drs. Amy TengErika Balassiano, Pooja Gupta, and Vanessa Dorismond all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy), are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.   Dr. Erika Balassiano has also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.

All of our physicians are El Camino Hospital doctors and operate and deliver at the Mountain View campus.

Serving Mountain View, Los AltosLos Altos HillsAthertonPalo AltoRedwood CityBurlingameSaratogaCupertinoSunnyvale, Los GatosCampbellSan JoseSanta Clara, Silicon Valley, MilpitasFremont, South Bay, East Bay, and North Bay.