Sjogren's Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and More

Sjogren’s syndrome is an immune system disorder that causes dryness in the vagina, eyes, and mouth. It may be accompanied by other immune system disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

It typically affects adults, primarily women, over the age of 40. Sjogren’s syndrome causes changes in the tear ducts and salivary glands in the face at the onset, resulting in the hallmark symptoms of dry eyes and mouth.

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Common Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome

Women with Sjogren’s syndrome may initially experience burning or itching of the eyes and decreased saliva. As they go further into the course of the syndrome, they may also experience fatigue, joint pain, a dry cough, skin rashes and dryness, joint swelling, stiffness, and finally, vaginal dryness.

Dryness of the eyes and salivary glands are often managed medically according to the severity of the symptoms. Consistent use of eye drops or prescribed medications may provide some relief.

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Vaginal Dryness in Women With Sjogren's Syndrome

Vaginal dryness in women with Sjogren’s syndrome can lead to rashes in the sensitive vulva and vaginal skin. Wearing loose-fitting pants and soft underwear is helpful.

It also helps to avoid harsh chemicals when washing the vaginal area, as well as when washing clothes. Women with Sjogren’s Syndrome should avoid scrubbing the vulva and vaginal area. A vaginal balm is highly beneficial in managing dryness in the vulva and vaginal opening.

Enchanted Rose Feminine Balm is an organic vaginal balm specifically designed to reduce redness, itching, burning and dryness of the vulva and vagina. Rubbing a small amount onto the sensitive intimate skin can help reduce these symptoms just as lip balm aids in reducing dryness and irritation of the lips.

Enchanted Rose Vaginal Balm

Managing The Dryness Around Your Vagina

Management for vaginal dryness during sex for women with Sjogren’s syndrome includes the use of lubrication. For the best results, both partners should utilize approximately one teaspoon each of personal lubricant to provide frictionless entry and penetration.

This decreases the risk of tearing or irritation of the sensitive vaginal skin. Personal lubricants vary in quality. Silicone and harsh chemicals can worsen the already dry and irritated skin of women with Sjogren’s syndrome.

Water-based lubricants are recommended for a less toxic and chemical free experience. Velvet Rose personal lubricant is the preferred choice of many doctors and pelvic pain specialists for its clean feel and ease of use.

Women with Sjogren’s syndrome who experience pain or muscle spasms with sexual penetration benefit from the use of vaginal dilators, also known as vaginal trainers. These tools allow women to gently train the sensitive vaginal tissue to improve the elasticity and flexibility of the vagina.

Such tools allow for better penetration. The Intimate Rose Vaginal Dilators are available in eight sizes to allow women to progress comfortably and reach their goals. 

Have more questions about Sjogren's Syndrome or a particular symptom? Feel free to contact us at Intimate Rose. You can also check our free resources like our video section or blog. 

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By Dr. Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC

FAQs

How do my patients give their script to Intimate Rose?

We've added the ability to upload a script as part of the purchase process. Visitors on www.intimaterose.com can choose the Prescription Upload link directly below the Add To Cart button on dilator product pages. Visitors can upload their script via mobile or desktop. Any file version will do. Alternatively, visitors can also email a copy of their script to support@intimaterose.com.

What is the longer term plan?

We are actively working on a better experience for customers and clinicians to make the vaginal dilator purchase process as seamless as possible. We will share updates as this solution becomes available.

What can I do as a healthcare provider?

Healthcare providers can help their patients with this process in a few ways. If you can write a script, you can provide one to support@intimaterose.com referencing your patient or have your patients upload / email it to us. State laws vary on who can or can't write a prescription. If you can not write a script, you can call your patient's PCP and ask them if they'd help.

Where can I find official FDA documentation?

Here is a link to the FDA document on Vaginal Dilators: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfpcd/classification.cfm?id=HDX.

This link shows that Vaginal Dilators are considered a class 2 medical device that require 510(k) documentation to be compliant with the FDA.

Does this have something to do with Insurance or FSA?

No, this is completely independent of any insurance or FSA compliance, and that isn't a cause or effect of this.