Vaginal dryness is a common but treatable issue that many women experience at some point in their lives. It isn’t a thing to feel embarrassed about so let’s talk about it.
Vaginal dryness can occur at any age, although studies have found that it is especially common for women going through menopause. This is primarily due to the drop of oestrogen levels in the body.
Vaginal moisture is mainly produced at the top of the vagina by the cervix and is subjective to a woman’s general wellbeing. It involves the body, mind and spirit. If a woman is happy, healthy and relaxed she is likely to get aroused more easily and thus become wet.
Common causes for vaginal dryness
When women have sex, two glands in the cervix produce extra moisture in order to provide good lubrication during intercourse. Lack of moisture during sex can have a number of reasons:
- not feeling aroused
- lack of foreplay
- relationship problems
- feelings of guilt, worry and anxiety
- hygiene products
- non-organic lubricants
- certain types of medication and contraception
- cancer treatment
Other common causes include:
- Menopause, due to the lack of oestrogen.
- Pregnancy, due to fluctuating hormones.
- Childbirth and breastfeeding, due to low oestrogen levels.
Some women only have symptoms of vaginal dryness at certain times, such as during sex, while others have them all the time. Every woman will experience vaginal dryness differently. Some symptoms include vaginal irritation, discomfort and burning sensation. Some women experience pain during sex, reduced libido and may even find it difficult reaching orgasm.
Treatment options for vaginal dryness
There are several natural ways to treat vaginal dryness that you can do yourself. For starters you need to make time for foreplay.
- Make time for foreplay
- Find ways to relax
- Avoid conventional hygiene products
- Experiment with aphrodisiacs
- Use organic lubricants rather than synthetic
Lubricants offer immediate but short-term relief from vaginal dryness. However, there are several lubricants that can cause more harm than damage. You need to keep an eye out for wether the lubricant is iso-osmotic and pH balanced. These are extremely important to avoid cellular damage within you vagina. Read more here. Several different types of lubricant are available to buy. Water-based are generally better if you are the sensitive type and oil based provides longer lasting lubrication for those who prefer long love making. You may need to experiment with a few different types to find one that works best for you and your unique sexuality.
When to seek professional advice
It's a good idea to see your health care provider for professional advice if:
- self-help measures aren't effective
- your symptoms are particularly severe and are interfering with your normal activities
- you notice you may have thrush or bacterial vaginosis
- you have other troublesome symptoms
- you are experiencing sharp pain similar to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
Don't feel embarrassed about seeking help. Naturopaths and other health care providers are used to treating vaginal dryness.