Vaginal dryness is a common problem that can occur at any age.
However, this condition is more common in older women. It occurs when the tissues of the vagina are not lubricated well. This can cause pain during intercourse, which may affect your sex life and your relationship with your partner. Vaginal cells change, and aging can make the vagina thin and dry.
A number of conditions can cause vaginal dryness. The following are the 5 most common things that can lead to a lack of vaginal lubrication:
1. Hormonal changes:
Change in hormones is one of the most common causes of vaginal dryness. Oestrogen keeps the tissues of the vagina lubricated and the decrease in oestrogen levels can lead to a lack of vaginal lubrication. Factors such as childbirth, breastfeeding, menopause, smoking and cancer treatments can lead to a drop in oestrogen levels. Ageing and childbirth can also affect your vagina’s elasticity. Some anti-oestrogen medicines and immune disorders can also reduce the oestrogen levels, leading to dryness.
2. Douching and other irritants:
Soaps, lotions, perfumes, and douches contain harsh chemicals which disrupt the PH balance in your vagina. Douching may decrease vaginal bacteria and is bad for vaginal health. The practice of douching and other irritants can increase the risk of bacterial and yeast infections, cervical cancer, and other health conditions. Avoid using chemical soaps and douching.
Antihistamines, often found in allergy, cold, and asthma medications can also have a drying effect on the body and the vagina. The presence of antihistamines can reduce vaginal lubrication. Avoid these and look for an alternative to these medicines. Always keep yourself hydrated to prevent vaginal dryness. Other than antihistamines, certain antidepressants and birth control pills can also lead to dryness of the vagina. Try to avoid using these medications if possible and try to source natural alternatives where possible to help prevent vaginal dryness
Anxiety and stress can have significant effects on the body. The long term anxiety can cause a variety of physical symptoms. It can even affect your sexual desire which may lead a lack of vaginal lubrication and dryness. Anxiety and stress can increase the production levels of hormone epinephrine which may impact vaginal lubrication in women.
5. Arousal issues:
Insufficient arousal can also affect vaginal lubrication and can make your vagina dry. When a woman is aroused, blood flow to the vaginal tissues will increase and it will also prevent the vagina from getting dry. Slow down sex and focus on your foreplay initially. Adequate foreplay will help with vaginal lubrication and will make sex more comfortable.
Speak to your doctor if you have symptoms of vaginal dryness as they can suggest effective treatments to help with this issue. Eating foods rich in soy such as tofu, soya milk can also help.
Guest Post by Amy Villasenor