Most women have an idea of what vaginal dryness is but are not 100% sure of why it happens and how to make it not affect your daily life and sex life as much. Important point! You are not alone, over 2 billion people are susceptible to vaginal dryness due to hormonal changes and it affects about 1 in 3 people with vaginas. With so many people being affected we thought it’s an important topic to talk about!

So, what is vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness is when a person's vagina does not have the same levels of moisture that an average vagina should have. Symptoms of vaginal dryness are discomfort, soreness, difficulty walking or exercising, or pain during sex. It can be accompanied by an itching/burning sensation, recurrent UTIs and frequent trips to the bathroom.

What causes this discomfort?

Most often people start noticing their first case of vaginal dryness when they are in a pre-menopausal state; however, there are many other reasons.

For example:

  • - Childbirth
  • - Breastfeeding
  • - Medication
  • - Frequent douching
  • - Changes in hormones
  • - Anxiety
  • - Irritants (chemicals in soaps, hygiene products, dyes and perfumes)

How to make vaginal dryness a non-issue?

Keep in mind, vaginal dryness is a common, but frustrating condition. You do have options to alleviate the discomfort it causes, which include:

  • - Lubricants: silicone-based, oil-based or water-based. They are not meant to solve vaginal dryness but are used to make sex less uncomfortable. With so many lube options, it’s definitely hard to choose. Here is a link to a definitive guide to the best personal lube for sex: http://www.bestlubefinder.com/.
  • - Vaginal moisturizers: like lubricants, can be used before sex to reduce the painful friction that sex can cause as a result of vaginal dryness. Unlike lubricants, moisturizers are absorbed into the skin and cling to the vaginal lining in a way that mimics natural secretions and they can be applied regularly! For more information about moisturizers, check out the GoodGuide with reviews and ratings.
  • - Foreplay: It’s important — especially for people with vaginas! It not only helps you get an orgasm but it allows the vagina to get aroused, lubricated, expand and the cervix to lift to create more room — in turn less pain (most of the time).

Using a combination of either lubricants or moisturizers and foreplay should decrease the severity of dryness and pain during sex. Remember for both lubricants and moisturizers, you may need to experiment with a variety of different products to find the one that works best for you.

Experiencing discomfort or pain during sex is sometimes not only from vaginal dryness but also other issues, such as vaginal atrophy after menopause, endometriosis, Vulvodynia, bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections to name a few. These topics deserve their own blog post — so if you want to hear about any of the above mentioned conditions or anything else just let us know in the comments below!

Sources

  1. http://www.repagyn.ca/vaginal-health-and-dryness.php
  2. https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/focus-series/vaginal-dryness/
  3. http://www.bermansexualhealth.com/index.php/73-menopausal-health/dryness/24-four-steps-to-non-hormonal-treatment-of-vaginal-dryness http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/vaginal-dryness.aspx http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dry-vagina/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  4. http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/vaginal-dryness.aspx
  5. http://www.replens.com/FAB-Blog/Fighting-Vaginal-Dryness/39/Lubes-101-Which-kind-is-the-best-lubricant-for-women.aspx
  6. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/vaginal-and-vulvar-comfort-lubricants-moisturizers-and-low-dose-vaginal-estrogen
  7. http://openmindedhealth.com/2011/04/the-purposes-of-foreplay/