During the menopausal transition, the state of the vagina often changes. The tissues in the vagina weaken, get thinner, dryer, and may get inflamed, causing pain, burning, or discharge. Vaginal dryness and pain are symptoms of vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) that occur as a result of lowered estrogen levels. 
Normal vaginal function includes all of the following:
Normal daily vaginal discharge includes a small amount of vaginal lubricants, cervical mucus, and sexual arousal fluid. If you are experiencing excessive amounts of discharge, or discharge with a strong odour or a different colour than normal, see your healthcare provider as these can be signs of other issues, including infections, that need to be immediately treated. 
Women may be very reluctant to speak up and act on vaginal issues due to embarrassment and negative feelings about aging. However, these are conditions that can often be treated easily at home and with the help of a medical practitioner.
To address changes to your vagina, including vaginal atrophy resulting in vaginal dryness, at home you can:
At age 40 find a reliable, educated primary care provider familiar with recognizing and treating the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. The North American Menopause Society provides a list of menopause practitioners here.
The effects of menopause-related vaginal thinning and dryness can often be mitigated with over-the-counter (meaning: not needing a prescription to purchase), preferably water-based lubrication products, gentle Kegel exercises, and safe and effective HT with estrogen. 
You can try over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers and lubricants to help increase the moisture in the vagina. If you are using a lubricant, which is typically applied just before intercourse and reduces vaginal pain, check to see if the product contains any petroleum (like petroleum jelly). If you are in the menopausal transition there is still a chance of pregnancy, and petroleum based products can break down latex used in condoms.
If your vaginal dryness is caused by low estrogen levels, your healthcare provider may prescribe topically (locally) applied hormone therapy (HT). Locally applied HT can also help to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI).
There are three methods of applying vaginal estrogen:
Hormones are substances that are produced in your body and then move to certain tissues to stimulate them to do an action. The hormone estrogen is responsible for stimulating cells in the vaginal wall to produce the lubricating mucus. During the menopausal transition, estrogen levels start to drop and this can lead directly to less lubrication in the vagina.
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, you may also experience a dry and irritated vulva due to having less moisture overall up inside the vagina. As well, you may also have to urinate more frequently and could have repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs). This group of symptoms is common during menopause, and it is called the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). More information on GSM is provided below.  
Changes to the vagina usually occur at the same time as changes in the urinary tract, so they have recently been combined into a single category – genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). GSM covers a variety of changes to the genitourinary tract – particularly the urethra, vagina and vulva. Vaginal atrophy and urinary incontinence (UI) are the most common symptoms of GSM, affecting 40-50% of midlife and aging women.  
|–||irritation / burning / itching|
|–||changes to vaginal discharge|
|–||thinning / graying pubic hair|
|–||vaginal / pelvic pain and pressure|
|–||vaginal prolapse (top of the vagina falling into the vaginal canal)|
|–||frequent / recurring urinary tract infections|
|–||bleeding after sex|
|–||loss or reduction in libido|
|–||pain after orgasm (dysorgasmia)|
Yes, the vaginal atrophy part of GSM can be helped by regular sexual activity with or without a partner! Increasing blood flow to the vagina will help keep the tissues healthy. Bladder training and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegels are helpful to naturally manage urinary incontinence. While these may not be enough to completely manage GSM, they are a good start.
Unfortunately, no. The Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause is a chronic progressive condition related to aging and reduced levels of estrogen. Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) can be highly effective to slow the progression of GSM. Check with your healthcare provider.
The inside of your vagina is a carefully balanced natural environment with a unique microbiome (good bacteria and other microorganisms, just like in your gut) that works to keep it healthy. It is also a very sensitive area that can be easily harmed. Steam is very hot (by definition!) and it can easily burn the vulva and the interior of the vagina (ouch!). The herbs that are used in the steam or rinse can also cause problems if they create an imbalance in the microbiome that causes bacterial or yeast infections. There is also a possibility that bacteria can get introduced into the vagina from the equipment being used. Not recommended.
If your vaginal dryness is caused by low estrogen levels, your healthcare provider may prescribe topical estrogen therapy. There are three methods of applying vaginal estrogen:
There are over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers as well. Speak to your pharmacist or your healthcare provider to get a recommendation. Water-soluble lubricants (such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly) can also be used on an as-needed basis. Non-water-soluble lubricants, such as Vaseline, are not recommended if you are using condoms for either contraception or for prevention of STIs because they can weaken latex and reduce the effectiveness of the condom. 
During the menopausal transition, the state of the vagina often changes. Vaginal dryness and pain are symptoms of vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) that occur as a result of lowered estrogen levels. The tissues in the vagina weaken, get thinner, dryer, and may get inflamed, causing pain, burning, or discharge.
The lining of the outer urethra is estrogen-dependent. During the menopausal transition, this lining thins and may become weaker than the pressure in the bladder. It is this imbalance that leads to involuntary loss of urine.
Check out the science here
A national study of 5,045 older women  showed the following:
|Sexual activity among older US women|
|Masturbated in previous year||54%||46%||36%||20%|
|Had intercourse (penis-vagina) in previous year||51%||42%||27%||8%|
|Received oral sex in previous year||34%||25%||9%||4%|
No, there are many safe and effective non- prescription medications that can be used to lubricate your vagina. A vagina is a muscle, and it needs exercise.
Vaginal healthy aging can be had by using non-prescription lubes, HT with estrogen, and regular exercise with masturbation and intercourse.
 The North American Menopause Society. (n.d.). Changes in the Vagina and Vulva. Retrieved July 11, 2021, from https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/changes-at-midlife/changes-in-the-vagina-and-vulva
 Angelou K, Grigoriadis T, Diakosavvas M, Zacharakis D, Athanasiou S. The Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: An Overview of the Recent Data. Cureus. 2020 Apr 8;12(4):e7586. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7586. PMID: 32399320; PMCID: PMC7212735.
 Krause, M., Wheeler, T. L., 2nd, Richter, H. E., & Snyder, T. E. (2010). Systemic effects of vaginally administered estrogen therapy: a review. Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, 16(3), 188–195. https://doi.org/10.1097/SPV.0b013e3181d7e86e
 Dumoulin, C., Cacciari, L. P., & Hay-Smith, E. (2018). Pelvic floor muscle training versus no treatment, or inactive control treatments, for urinary incontinence in women. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 10(10), CD005654. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005654.pub4