Things That Can Cause Vaginal Dryness
There are many possible causes of so called dry vagina, including hormonal changes, irritants to delicate tissues, and even anxiety. Here’s what you can do to keep a lack of vaginal lubrication from causing painful sex.
1-You’re Stressed Out
Stress takes the blame for a lot of health issues, and you can add vaginal dryness to the list. If it doesn’t temporarily kill your libido outright, feeling anxious or pressured can make it harder to get turned on, says Dweck. Once the stress lifts, your juices should start flowing.
2-Your Birth Control Pill Is Messing With You
“One littleknown side effect of oral contraceptives is reduced vaginal lubrication,” says Dweck. And unlike some other side effects that happen when you first go on the Pill, this one probably won’t clear up in a few months. “I’ll usually advise my patients to use storebought lubricant, or if it’s really uncomfortable, consider going off the Pill and trying another type of birth control,” she says.
3-Low Estrogen Levels
The walls of your vagina are normally constantly lubricated by a thin layer of liquid. This is maintained in great part by the hormone called estrogen. If your levels of estrogen are low, you don’t get that wetness, which doubles as vaginal protection. Low estrogen levels are the reason why dryness happens so often to women during menopause, because estrogen levels drop at this point in our biological lives. Other reasons why your estrogen may be low include childbirth, breastfeeding, chemotherapy, and smoking cigarettes.
4-Childbirth/Nursing Can Cause Vaginal Dryness
At first, it may seem surprising to hear that new mothers experience vaginal dryness. After all, the body is creating and discharging so many fluids to aid in the birthing and nursing process during this time, one might think that providing vaginal lubrication would be at the top of mother nature’s todo list. Not so, say the experts at Parents Magazine. “While you’re nursing, your body produces less of the hormone estrogen, which can cause the tissues in your vagina to be thinner and drier than usual. The good news is that things should get back to normal after you wean your baby. Until then, you can use a waterbased vaginal lubricant.” What if you’re not breastfeeding but still experience vaginal dryness after giving birth? This could be a temporary hormonal imbalance that your body will regulate on its own. But if you’re concerned or the symptoms persist, ask your doctor for their advice.
5-Menstruation Causes Vaginal Dryness
It’s normal for a woman’s hormone levels to dip while she’s on her period. One of the primary hormones responsible for keeping your vagina moist during menstruation is estrogen. When your estrogen levels are depleted, vaginal dryness can be an irritating side effect, especially when it comes to inserting a tampon. One quick fix for this is to apply a small amount of personal lubricant on the applicator to make it easier to slide the tampon in. Better yet, you may want to consider avoiding tampons, which can, by their absorbent nature, dry out the inside of the vagina. Try using a pad instead, at least on days with high menstrual flow. You may want to refrain from wearing panty liners when you’re not on your period, as these can also wick natural moisture away from your most sensitive parts.