What is 'vaginal dryness'? Vaginal dryness can be, related to lack of arousal. When a woman is unaroused and unstimulated she can experience vaginal dryness. Or it can be related to hormones, in particular lack of estrogen. So those are really the main causes of vaginal dryness. How does a doctor diagnose vaginal dryness? Vaginal dryness is diagnosed through history, through what the woman describes in the history that you take, as well as through physical exam. There are changes that occur when there is vaginal dryness or loss of estrogen. The vagina appears thinner, more friable. There is lack of the rugae or the bumps that normally occur in the vagina and it appears shinier. That's all an indicator of low estrogen. How can vaginal dryness be medically treated? Depending on what the cause is, Vaginal Dryness, you know, related to an arousal issue in a younger woman can be treated or enhanced with over the counter commercial lubricants that are water based, I generally recommend. In an older menopausal woman, the standard of care is Vaginal estrogen cream or there's a Vaginal pill that delivers estrogen, or there's a ring that delivers estrogen to enhance Vaginal health and lubrication. When and how should a woman treat her own vaginal dryness? Most women figure it out on their own. If they are having, during sexual relations, dryness, pinching or burning, they will seek out some sort of lubricant on their own. In menopausal women the lubricants, especially those that are scented, can be; irritating, burning and/or cause infection and inflammation. So women will treat themselves with an over the counter lubricant, if the problem persists or there's a side effect related to the lubricant they'll come in for an evaluation and treatment.