Vaginal dryness is a common but treatable problem that can happen at any age. Symptoms may include burning vaginal discomfort or itching, abnormal vaginal discharge, or pain during sex or masturbation. There can be a number of reasons for vaginal dryness, both psychological and physiological, and some of them might surprise you.
The hormone estrogen helps to keep the vagina moist and to maintain thickness of the vaginal lining. Vaginal dryness, also known as atrophic vaginitis, is a common condition that can occur when the ovaries produce a decreased amount of estrogen. If you feel turned on but are still dry, your body might simply need time to catch up with your brain. Or you just might not be all that into your partner or the acts you are performing together.
Your sexual desire is influenced by some of the same hormones that fluctuate with your cycle, like estrogen and progesterone. You may find your desire tends to increase in the days leading up to ovulation and decrease shortly after ovulation is over 1, 2. Sex drive may be lower when more progesterone is produced during the luteal phase the days after ovulation and leading up to menstruation 2. If you suspect your dryness could be caused by low estrogen levels, there are several treatment options: Another option is to use personal lubricant lube during sexual activity or masturbation.
In a study, lubricant use was associated with higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction in both solo masturbation and partnered sexual activities.
Lubricants made with water or silicone can be used with latex condoms and diaphragms. A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who had used petroleum jelly as lube in the past month were more than twice as likely as non-users to have bacterial vaginosis 5. Hand or body lotions are not recommended either, as they can be irritating to vaginal tissues.
If you prefer to use something natural, avoid using food products like olive oil or coconut oil as this can lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Instead, try an organic lubricant or a water-based lube without additives.
Nonoxynol-9 can also increase the likelihood of acquiring a vaginal yeast infection or urinary tract infection. Aside from sexual arousal and estrogen levels, there are additional factors that can affect vaginal lubrication:.
Dehydration due to heat, illness or alcohol consumption can leave your vagina dry, too. In this case, lubrication should return when you are sufficiently rehydrated.
Have you been taking medication for a cold or allergies?
Antihistamines in cold and allergy medications dry out your body, including your vaginabut natural lubrication should return when you stop the medication. If this applies to you, stress-reducing activities can help.
Try switching to natural products and wash with unperfumed soap or just water, and see if your symptoms improve. Your vagina is self-cleaning, so there is no need to use any internal washes douches or vaginal deodorants — in fact, they can be harmful. Research has linked the practice of douching with increased risk of bacterial and yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, increased transmission of STIs, and other adverse health outcomes 6, 7.
Use Clue to track fluid throughout your cycle. Top things to know: How vaginal dryness is related to estrogen levels The hormone estrogen helps to keep the vagina moist and to maintain thickness of the vaginal lining.
Your body produces less estrogen: At the time of menopause. At the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle estrogen is at its highest in the days leading up to and around ovulation. After having a babyparticularly if breastfeeding. After surgical removal of the ovaries, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy of the pelvis for cancer.
While using certain medications, including some forms of hormonal birth control. When these medications are stopped, estrogen production resumes. Cigarette smokers have been shown to have an increased risk of an earlier menopause transition as compared to non-smokers.
This means that atrophic vaginitis symptoms may appear at a younger age in this population. What can you do about vaginal dryness? This could be why: Aside from sexual arousal and estrogen levels, there are additional factors that can affect vaginal lubrication: The Touch ID of an Apple iPhone 6 Plus gold, is shown here at a when your phone doesn't recognise your fingerprint, and you can save.
After it is dry - how could someone tell that it got wet? Well my friend the "i got wet indicator" is a dead give away.