Top 9 Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal Dryness is a common condition for women that can happen at any age and be caused by a number of reasons. Even though lack of natural lubrication is prevalent among women of all ages, under-reporting and under-treatment of vaginal dryness are common and many women do not seek medical help. A recent survey showed that 52% of the respondents, all of which were currently in a partnered relationship, had not discussed any of their sexual concerns with their healthcare providers (1). That’s where we step in- to open the discussion and let you know that you’re not alone.

REDUCED ESTROGEN LEVELS​

The Mayo Clinic lists dropping estrogen levels as the main cause of vaginal dryness in most women (2). Estrogen helps maintain a normal vagina and regulates a thin clear layer of fluid along the walls of the vagina and also maintains the thickness and elasticity of walls as well. When estrogen levels fall, the layer of fluid can dry up and the lining of the vagina can experience thinning (called vaginal atrophy). Hormone changes can be caused from various life stages and conditions such as many of the conditions included herein.

Menstration

It’s very common for a women’s hormone levels to fluctuate while she is on her cycle. When estrogen levels are depleted, dryness can follow until the levels come back to normal. Tampons can add a compounding effect to this when used, which is why it’s recommended to instead use a pad if you experience vaginal dryness during your cycle.

MEDICATIONS

Over 300 medications can cause vaginal dryness as a side effect. These mediations range from birth control to cold and allergy medicine to antidepressants and chemotherapy/radiation. Birth control pills and shots can cause hormonal changes and fluctuations that lead to dryness in some women while cold and allergy medicines such as antihistamines can lower moisture throughout the entire body, including the vagina. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, we recommend speaking with your healthcare professional and disclosing all current medications. (4)

Insufficient Arousal

If you’re only feeling the effects of vaginal dryness when having sex, you might be having a difficult time being fully aroused. This can be from a variety of factors including a lack of foreplay, stress, anxiety, or relationship problems for example. If you’re having troubles being turned on in the moment, be sure to openly communicate with your partner about the topic and consult a therapist or doctor if necessary.

Vaginal Douches

Many women are under the impression that vaginal douching will freshen up their intimate area by getting of unpleasant odors, washing away menstrual blood and even to avoid STDs, and prevent pregnancy after sex. However, health experts say that douching is not an effective solution for any of these purposes and can actually increase vaginal irritation, dryness, and other health concerns. Vaginal douches are often loaded with chemicals, fragrances and irritants that can greatly impact the delicate nature of a vagina and lead to vaginal dryness. The increased risk of infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and pregnancy complications greatly outweigh the perceived benefits.

Menopause

Menopause begins when the ovaries slow down their production of reproductive hormones, the two main ones being Estrogen and Progesterone. The reduction in estrogen levels can be the cause of many different symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, dryer skin or hair, and vaginal dryness to name a few. To read our blog on Menopause and how it can affect your sex life, click here. 

pregnancy and brestfeeding

The drastic hormone changes associated with pregnancy can cause increased vaginal dryness and irritation. Moreover, breastfeeding can postpone ovulation, which is the body’s natural way of preventing another pregnancy too soon after the previous one. However, this can also mean depleted estrogen levels, which can cause vaginal dryness.

IRRITANTS

Harsh chemicals in products used for hygiene such as soaps, lotions, and perfumes can cause vaginal dryness.  Allergies to detergents can lead to dryness from contact with underwear or towels as well. The chemicals in these products can disrupt the natural pH balance present in a women’s vagina and when the natural acidity levels in a vagina are reduced, it can also reduce estrogen levels. Maintaining normal pH levels are vital to keeping vaginal tissues healthy and also helps the defense against infections while regulating natural lubrication.

Smoking And Alcohol

This may be not so good of news for the party girls out there but if you’re having troubles with dryness, smoking or drinking could be the reason why. Cigarettes are known to reduce blood circulation and alcohol causes dehydration and can reduce your sensations to touch. If you plan on having sexual intercourse, these are important factors to consider if dryness has been an issue.  

Changes in a woman’s hormones, a woman’s environment and/or physiological health can all play a part in causing vaginal dryness. It’s important to remember that Vaginal Dryness is a common condition for women and can occur at any age for many different reasons.

Vaginal dryness is often associated with painful intercourse. For added ease and comfort during intercourse, we invite you to try SYLK.

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