Vaginal dryness can happen when the mucosa of the genital tract are not sufficiently moist, can be embarrassing both from a personal point of view and from the point of view of a couple’s sex life.
What is vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness or intimate dryness is a condition that can affect all women. According to a survey published in 2016 by Opinion Way for the Pfizer Laboratory, almost 6 out of 10 women would be concerned about this phenomenon, which is often still a taboo because, according to the same study, 4 out of 10 women would not dare talk to their doctor or gynecologist about it.
But what exactly is vaginal dryness? This disorder results from the fact that the vagina, can no longer lubricates itself naturally. As a result the vagina loses some of its elasticity and becomes dry. If the vaginal flora is very weak, infections due to bacterial imbalances also occur more quickly. Finally, some women who have lost their local elasticity have problems with incontinence.
What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness can be characterized by a feeling of irritation in the vagina, redness, burning sensation when urinating, itching, pain or light bleeding during intercourse.
If you ever experience one or more of these symptoms, consult your doctor or gynecologist.
Vaginal dryness can have several causes.
The natural lubrication of the vagina is connected to the estrogen in the woman’s body, which is produced by the ovaries. When the level of this hormone drops, it can lead to a lack of lubrication of the mucous membrane. This hormonal change occurs at different times in a woman’s life, such as after pregnancy or during menopause.
Intimate dryness can also be caused by psychological factors such as fatigue, depression, stress, lack of desire or anxiety (when a woman has sex for the first time, for example).
A side effect to a medication you are taking
It is also possible that these physical disorders are a side effect of taking medications or birth control pills. For instance antihistamines can cause vaginal dryness.
It is also very important to pay attention to the hygiene of this sensitive area. The use of inappropriate and/or excessively aggressive products for intimate hygiene can alter the balance of the vaginal flora and cause dryness of the vaginal mucosa. Total bikini waxing may also be a factor that can give rise to concern.
A healthy lifestyle
It should also be noted that alcohol and tobacco consumption will only aggravate the condition and also wearing tight clothing does not help either!
What treatments are available to combat vaginal dryness?
If you suffer from vaginal dryness, don’t panic! Depending on the cause of the disorder, there are different solutions to counteract its effects.
Lubricants can be very helpful
To combat temporary intimate dryness, a vaginal lubricant is usually the first solution tried. This type of product facilitates penetration during painful and/or difficult sexual intercourse.
The most commonly used products are water-based, which are more natural than silicone gels, but have some disadvantages. They dry quickly and if they contain glycerin, they can promote fungal infections. However, silicone gels are increasingly controversial, particularly because of their composition, which contains endocrine disruptors. However, they are often hypoallergenic and last longer.
In cases of irritation or itching, non-hormonal vaginal gels with moisturizing agents such as aloe vera or hyaluronic acid can also help to soothe and heal the vaginal mucosa so that it regains its elasticity and sufficient natural lubrication.
Everyday creams are now also available in pharmacies, so don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist or gynecologist for advice.
The importance of foreplay
However, don’t neglect foreplay, which can help lubricate the vagina naturally before intercourse – a quickie is clearly not recommended!
It’s also quite possible to make applying the lubricant a sex game with your partner during foreplay.
The lubricant can also help you regain some comfort during sex.
If vaginal dryness is related to the onset of menopause in women, the gynecologist may prescribe hormone therapy to raise estrogen levels (which helps the natural lubrication of the vagina). There are also local creams that can be prescribed to alleviate this.
The right intimate care
And, of course, the proper gestures for your intimate care:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before proceeding with your personal hygiene
- Wash your intimate area once or twice a day at most
- Prefer a suitable product (for example, a mild soap with a neutral pH)
- Forget bath gloves as they are real nests of germs, unless you change them every time you wash
- Wipe the vulva from front to back and rinse thoroughly with clear water, then clean the anal area without going back to the front;
- Dry yourself well with a towel
- Avoid anything that may cause irritation (tight pants, thongs, bleach, Jacuzzi etc..).
- Avoid douching which is very harmful to the flora in the vagina.