Vaginal dryness is more than just a drag: it can suck all the life out of a potential sexy situation for you and your partner.
It’s a common misconception that only menopausal women suffer from vaginal dryness. The truth is women of all ages can get vaginal dryness, and it can come and go depending on what else is happening in a woman’s life. This week, I’ll break down some of the common causes and symptoms of vaginal dryness, and the treatments that can help you move past the discomfort and get back to enjoying all of those special moments.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
The most commonly known cause of vaginal dryness is menopause. This is linked to low levels of estrogen, which drop during menopause. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also result in vaginal dryness due to the change in hormone levels. Other causes include medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, and even stress and anxiety, which can affect sexual desire and then lead to vaginal dryness as a result.
Vaginal Dryness Symptoms
Vaginal dryness isn’t difficult to diagnose–symptoms may include:
- Soreness, itching, or burning of the vagina
- Painful intercourse
- Light bleeding after intercourse
- Mild vaginal discharge
If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, your doctor can perform a pelvic exam to determine whether the walls of your vagina are thin, pale, or red. He or she may also test your hormone levels to see if you’re going through menopause. They may also test your vaginal discharge to check for other causes of dryness.
How to Treat Vaginal Dryness: Lubricants, Moisturizers, and Staying Active
One of the best ways to combat vaginal dryness and atrophy is by using a lubricant during sex. Using a lubricant can help ease the painful friction that gets in the way of feeling good. Once your body is able to relax, you may find that relaxed muscles allow you to fully enjoy the moment. I recommend a couple different kinds of lubricants for my clients based on their individual needs.
Another product recommendation I make to my clients dealing with dryness are vaginal moisturizers. Many of my clients have success with a product called Restore from Good Clean Love. This moisturizer helps manage your body’s natural pH levels, which is important for overall vaginal health.
Some women might be surprised to learn that regular sexual stimulation is also helpful! Using our bodies, either with a partner or alone, increases blood flow which prevents and reverses vaginal atrophy. I like to say, “Use it or lose it, baby!”
If you have any questions about vaginal lubricants, moisturizers or other ways to help with vaginal dryness, I’d love to help! I bring the expert knowledge of an OB-GYN (my husband) with my own years of working with women in pelvic floor physical therapy, and I’m passionate about helping women get back to enjoying pain-free, feel-good sex.