The female vagina is a delicate and sensitive organ. Therefore, discomfort in this intimate area reduces the quality of life and affects the relationship with your partner. Below, you’ll find the top 10 causes of vaginal dryness, so you can eliminate what’s causing it for you.
The vagina is a woman’s intimate organ, which consists of the vulva, the outer part, and the inner part. Chronic dryness can occur in both parts, but usually happens simultaneously.
What is “dry vagina”?
After my speech at the festival on the topic of “Couple’s Sexual Health”, a man of 23–25 years old came up to me and asked: “So are you for or against lubrication?”
And here are the complaints that I have heard repeatedly in my practice:
“My girlfriend is not quite comfortable during sex. Maybe it’s better to use a lubricant?”
“It’s constantly scratching, itching…”
“Lack of moisturizing during sex…”
“It feels like cracked asphalt…”
The list of complaints in this style is endless.
Definitely, “dry” is not good… but why dry? The moisture content of the mucous membranes of the intimate area is a mighty criterion for the level of sexual arousal of your partner and a criterion for sexual and reproductive health.
In my work, I have long ago coined the phrase “dry vagina syndrome”
Very often, women self-medicate, thinking that they have perpetual “vaginal yeast”. But in reality, it is an exhausted, dried vagina due to hormonal imbalance, and not just this.
Anyone who knows me has heard me repeatedly say “our vulva is our second face”, which requires the same gentle, daily and intimate care.
Top 10 causes of dryness:
- Decrease in female hormones – estrogen. This is one of the earliest signs, and few women know about it.
- Decreased thyroid function.
- Insufficient water intake per day. Our mucous membranes are 90% water. Many of my patients report a decrease in discomfort by normalizing their water regimen.
- Decreased iron stores and anemia as a more serious manifestation of latent iron deficiency. My dear, if you have heavy menstruation or do not eat red meat, it is essential to check your ferritin and hemoglobin levels.
- Use of antiseptic or antibacterial products, baby soap, shower gels for the vulva care. A gentle, intimate foam without chemical preservatives is the key to your vulva’s comfort and sexual health.
- “Laser rejuvenation” went wrong, causing a burn of the vaginal mucosa. By the way, we’ve discussed this in more detail at the seminar “Female Body: Myths and Reality“.
- Prolonged use of combined hormonal contraceptives (most often a hormonal ring). This is very individual for each woman. In my practice, I have met patients who developed symptoms of “dry vagina” after five years of taking birth control pills. There were also those whose mucous membranes dried up six months after starting to use the hormonal ring.
- A sexual partner with chronic prostatitis (read more about this in the seminar “Health of a Beloved Man“).
- Lack of healthy fats in the diet. In my practice, I have repeatedly met girls aged 14-18 who have exhausted themselves with diets without fat. This leads to both a loss of estrogen and irritated mucous membranes in the intimate area.
- And yes, the number of cases of latex allergy is growing worldwide. Therefore, it is better to use no-latex condoms.
Dry vagina and lubricants
I’m not against the use of lubricants and lubes.
But only if they are water-based and not used to solve problems in the intimate area. Plus, the lubricant should be hypoallergenic, stored at the right temperature, and used before the expiration date.
More about your health and body is in the courses: A girl becomes a woman, All about you. What it’s like to be a Woman, All about you 35+.
I’m eager to file all of these courses in English, just send me a request to email@example.com.
You can always choose your doctor at the Lior Medical Center.
Have safe and emotional sex!
With love, your Natalia Silina ❤️
gynecologist and endocrinologist,
UNICEF and UNFPA expert on sexuality education