Vaginal dryness

Dryness is an unpleasant vaginal symptom that can happen to women of any age but is most common among women who are past menopause. Even though vaginal dryness is normally harmless, it can come with some rather unpleasant side effects, like irritation, soreness, abnormal discharge and more frequent urinary tract infections. The lack of lubrication in the vagina can also lead to painful intercourse and light bleeding during sex. In fact, as many as 25 percent of all women between the ages of 50 and 59 report having problems with dryness during sex and 16 percent feel pain. In addition to the physical symptoms, dryness can take a heavy emotional toll. Some women find it hard to accept that their bodies are ageing, others lose confidence in their sexual ability and avoid having sex with their partner. But there’s no reason to suffer in silence – vaginal dryness is easy to treat with products that you can buy online or at your local pharmacy.

Why is my vagina dry?

As many as half of all menopausal women suffer from dry vaginal skin. If you’re one of them, it’s probably a sign that your vagina is ageing. During menopause, estrogen production drops dramatically, causing the vaginal tissue to become thinner, dryer and more delicate. It also becomes more prone to infection. This is called vaginal atrophy. With less lubrication of the vagina, you’re more likely to suffer from abnormal discharge, irritation, soreness and painful intercourse. Although low estrogen levels due to menopause are the most common cause of dry vaginal skin, it’s not the only one. Estrogen levels can drop in younger women as well, for example because of breastfeeding, childbirth, chronic illness or use of birth control pills. Vaginal dryness can also be caused by excessive cleaning in and around the vagina.

Vaginal dryness cure

If your vaginal dryness is causing problems with painful intercourse, try applying a water-based lubricant just before sex. There are also over-the-counter products that treat dryness. If you’re still having issues with vaginal dryness after using a natural based product, consult your doctor. He or she may recommend an estrogen-based treatment, like tablets, suppositories, creams or a ring.

Vaginal dryness causes

Menopause is the most common cause of dry vaginal skin, but younger women can be affected as well. These factors can increase your risk of dry vaginal skin:

  • Breastfeeding and childbirth
  • Taking contraceptive pills or antidepressants
  • Having your ovaries or womb surgically removed
  • Going through certain cancer treatments
  • Taking certain allergy and cold medications
  • Having certain immune disorders, like Sjogren syndrome
  • Using soap, lotion, perfumed tampons or douches in the vaginal area