Regular genital activity is an important part of a healthy, successful relationship. Unfortunately, a dry vagina can make intercourse uncomfortable and even painful for women and their partners. It usually has a domino effect on genital desire as well.
Insufficient vaginal lubrication can occur at any time in a woman’s life. Although it is a hallmark of menopause, a dry vagina can appear after childbirth and during certain times of the menstrual cycle. The hormone changes associated with these events affect the amount and consistency of natural vaginal secretions.
Various conditions can lead to vaginal dryness. The causes range from physical conditions, like hormone fluctuations and medication side effects, to emotional issues, such as anxiety and depression. Luckily, there are nearly as many treatment options as there are causes.
Common Causes of Vaginal Dryness
Discovering the source of discomfort or pain is the first step toward dry vagina relief. Understanding the various causes can help women find solutions that will improve their sex lives.
Decreased estrogen levels are the number one cause of vaginal dryness. A reduction is estrogen leads to a thinner, dryer and less elastic vaginal lining. Low estrogen is usually the result of menopause, childbirth, breast feeding, cancer therapy or immune system disorders. Cigarette smoking is another contributing factor.
Certain medications can also lead to a dry vagina. Decongestants, such as those found in allergy or cold medications, decrease moisture in many parts of the body including the vaginal walls. Some breast cancer treatments use anti-estrogen medications that also cause vaginal dryness.
Cleansing the vagina with a special liquid preparation disrupts the delicate chemical balance in the vagina. Known as douching, this hygiene practice can lead to vaginal inflammation, irritation and dryness.
Anxiety is a common emotional cause of dry vagina. Stress can wreak havoc on a woman’s sexual desire, and a lack of normal lubrication can dry out her vagina. In addition, anxiety causes insufficient blood flow to the genital region. This, too, causes dryness.
A lack of vaginal lubrication may also result from inadequate sexual arousal. Low libido and other sexual problems usually contribute to vaginal dryness. A generous period of foreplay and more frequent sex are proven remedies for vaginal dryness.
Common Treatments for Vaginal Dryness
Topical estrogen is often the most effective way to treat vaginal dryness. Vaginal creams do not decrease testosterone levels the way estrogen pills or patches can. This is important, since testosterone is necessary for sexual health and function.
When a dry vagina is associated with symptoms of menopause or certain physical conditions, treating the underlying conditions may relieve vaginal dryness. Over-the-counter moisturizers and sexual lubricants provide temporary relief and enables comfortable sexual intercourse. Sufficient sexual arousal, natural aphrodisiacs, vitamin therapies and sexual arousal devices are popular lifestyle remedies for vaginal dryness.
About the author
Lyndsay Stafford has been a researcher and author for more than 9 years. Lyndsay has a passion to discover natural solutions that can improve the lives of other people. When Lyndsay is not researching a health related topic such as female sexual health, she loves to grow organic fruits and vegetables with her husband.