Vaginal dryness is a condition that affects women mostly in their menopause or post-menopause periods. However, inadequate vaginal lubrication can occur at any age.
This condition is a characteristic sign of atrophic vaginitis, commonly referred to as vaginal atrophy, which is the thinning and inflammation of walls of the vagina caused by reduction in estrogen.
An Overview of Vaginal Dryness
There is a thin membrane of moisture that coats vaginal walls. When a woman is sexually aroused, more blood flows into the pelvic organs, inducing the creation of more vaginal fluid for lubrication.
However, hormonal alterations caused by menstrual cycle, aging factor, childbirth, breastfeeding and menopause may adversely affect the consistency of this vital moisture, subjecting one to vaginal atrophy. This article explores causes, symptoms, and treatments as well as home remedies for vaginal dryness. Read on to discover about it.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
Ranging from physiological to emotional and psychological, there are several factors that may cause virginal dryness. Hormonal changes as well as medication side effects are some physiological issues that may subject one to this condition. Among the emotional or psychological factors include lack of desire or anxiety, stress, inter alia. Some of these factors are explained below.
Medical Side Effects
Cold medications that contain antihistamines, as well as medications for asthma, can leave a drying effect in the body which would lead to decline in vaginal lubrication. Allergies, too, can cause the same effect.
In some cases, low libido or lack of sexual confidence with a partner can lead to vaginal dryness. For instance, if a woman has the kind of partner who underperforms of suffers from early ejaculation, she may develop vaginal dryness. Moreover, if you do not particularly love having sex with your partner, this may also subject you to the condition.
Women who are allergic to chemicals in some soaps, hygiene products and perfumes can experience vaginal dryness if they used these products. Mostly women are allergic to soaps and detergents. Irritants can be on panties and towels, too, since they are washed using soaps and detergents. Lubricants or other objects that may be used in the vagina can also be active allergens causing vaginal dryness.
Emotional and psychological factors like anxiety and stress are also capable of wreaking havoc on sexual stimulation and lead to vaginal dryness as usual vaginal lubrication fails. For instance, there will be insufficient blood flow when a woman is anxious, and vaginal dryness is likely.
Decline in estrogen during peri-menopause, menopause, after delivery, and/or during breastfeeding period is one of the commonest causes of vaginal dryness. Also, cancer treatment types like chemotherapy and/or radiation to the pelvis cause decrease in estrogen and thus low vaginal lubrication. To lubricate, the vagina depends on estrogen, without which dryness ensues.
Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness
Low Lubrication and Painful Sex
After the menopause, there is a decline in vaginal lubrication during sex which leads to pain during the act intimacy. The vaginal wall becomes thinner, becoming easily damaged. This damage often occurs during sexual intercourse, especially if lubrication fails. There may be bleeding during sex, or spotting after the act. Gentle friction can cause discomfort and pain, even.
Pain In Other Times
It is not only during sex when vaginal dryness makes the woman feel pain. Also, when they go for their smear, they find it more difficult or more uncomfortable. It can make it difficult for women to sit, exercise, stand, urinate, dance, or even work. Vaginal dryness can affect daily life, even, whether the women in focus are sexually active or not. This can have adverse effects on the general quality of life of the suffering women.
Change in Vagina and Vulva Appearance
Although it is usual for the vagina to look different in different periods of one’s life, the lips (labia) will appear much thinner in case one if suffering from vaginal dryness.
Changes to Vaginal Discharge
Most women with vaginal dryness find changes in their vaginal discharge. The discharge may become more watery, a little discolored, and with some unusual odor. They may also experience a burning sensation or irritation. These can be worrying symptoms, but they are mere indicators of hormonal changes and not something graver.
Vaginal dryness can cause loss of vivacity in most women. Changes in hormones during menopause, just like in any younger stages of life, can be hard to accept, and the pain and discomfiture caused by this condition may lead to loss of self-esteem as well as sexual confidence.
These symptoms can confuse a whopping majority of women since they resemble symptoms of some sexually transmitted infections, or thrush. Some of the women who misperceive this as an attack of thrush rush headlong for over-the-counter remedies, which can exacerbate the condition. The fact that this is an embarrassing problem makes many women not to disclose it, straining their relationships badly, especially when the women are shy of telling their partners why they are disinterested in sex.
Over The Counter Tightening and Lubrication Gel
There are tons of lubrication creams you can grab at your local pharmacy, such as IsoSensuals, Intivar, and Lady Secret Serum. You can read all about them at our vag cream comparisons.
From our experience, there is really only one lubricating gel that really gets the job done and helps to permanently reverse vaginal dryness. This is V-Tight Gel!
You can learn more here.
Home remedies for vaginal dryness are considered safe, less expensive, and remarkably effective methods its treatment. These include applying coconut oil as well as olive oil into the vagina, increased foreplay, using cotton underwear to absorb any disgraceful discharge, and avoiding chemicals and perfumed soaps.
These ways may be helpful to many women, but the fact that people differently respond to external factors means they will be more effective to some than others.
Another great home method for treating this condition is by select diet and lifestyle. The following foods can help treat vaginal dryness:
Nuts are rich in essential nutrients and fatty acids which are vital in healing injuries and restoring body to order. Trying nuts can help heal vaginal dryness.
Omega-3, which is highly contained in fish, is vital for reduction of the symptoms of menopause and reversing the effects. Eating salmon fillet or canned tuna increases the levels of omega-3 and reduces chances of vaginal dryness
Even for general body health, proper and constant hydration is imperative. As such, aim at drinking the recommended eight glasses daily and find that your dry vagina improves remarkably.
Soy is commonly known as the hero of menopause, for its high quality in estrogen is widely used in treating several menopausal problems.
Making certain that your diet is full of fruits will help you a great deal in combating vaginal dryness. Fruits such as cherries, melons and apples are very helpful.
A balanced diet should be ignored for the health of a woman in menopause or even for growing women in order to keep chances of vaginal dryness as low as possible. However, besides a well rounded diet comes regular exercise as well as efforts to keep stress levels down.
Kegel exercises can be added to other daily regimens particularly to strengthen vaginal muscles and for a healthy vagina and its neighborhood. Reading juicy and captivating novels and watching stress relieving and life encouraging films can help.
Avoid Perfumed Soaps
Allergy may be the major cause of your dry vagina. As such, it is good to give perfumed soaps a wide berth as such may be playing a major role in your vagina’s dryness. Also avoid perfumes and other detergents that are strongly perfumed.
Vaginal lubricants are particularly useful for women whose vaginas do not well respond to estrogen replacement. Lubricants, however, can be messy, and they are to be applied before every sexual activity for them to be effective.
Take More Time Before Sex to Lubricate
Once with your partner in bed, allow yourself more time caressing in order to give the Bartholins gland enough time to secrete maximum lubrication amount before you start the intercourse.
To sum up, vaginal dryness is usual with more than half of women after their menopause. However, a smaller number of women may suffer from vaginal dryness before their menopause arrives.
Although embarrassing, this is a condition that can be aptly contained by following the right remedies as well as discussing it with your partner and gynecologist, two people who really matter in helping you regain your health and confidence.