A safer alternative for vaginal dryness is a form of estrogen hormone therapy that is delivered directly to the vagina. This can help relieve vaginal dryness, irritation and pain, without the risks of HRT. A vaginal estradiol ring, which can be placed in the vagina for 90 days at a time, is now available and delivers low-dose estrogen locally. Another local vaginal delivery system is a tablet that you insert into your vagina daily for two weeks, followed by twice a week thereafter. These two options are safe and effective, and deliver a time-released, low dosage of estrogen directly to the vagina. Topical estrogen cream, although effective, is not a controlled delivery method, making it possible to achieve high blood levels of estrogen from the absorption in the vagina.
Non-hormonal options that may improve vaginal dryness include vaginal moisturizers and lubricants. These are available over-the-counter, and can be used either on a daily basis or with sexual activity. Using them regularly can improve vaginal dryness and the discomfort it can cause during sexual activity.