A dry vagina is a common but uncomfortable problem that affects nearly all women at one time or another. Normal activities like going to the bathroom or inserting a tampon can be irritating, and sex can seem downright painful. Vaginal dryness results from many different sources. Finding the source of your particular problem is the only way to eliminate it and restore your natural lubrication. To figure out what’s causing your dryness fast, follow these five steps. You’ll be able to pinpoint the root cause of your dry vagina so you can treat it.
What to check first, when dealing with a dry vagina
The first step involves all the store-bought products that come into direct contact with the vagina. This isn’t just limited to feminine hygiene products; everything from soap to condoms to laundry detergent can contribute to the problem. Feminine hygiene products are a good place to start, however. Think about all the different choices you see when you go to the store to pick up a box of pads or tampons. While the selection was once limited to plain products, you can now choose from an array of colors and scents to enjoy on your period. Unfortunately, though, some of these products are irritating to all but the toughest vaginas. Such a sensitive part of the body isn’t meant to come into contact with fragrances and dyes. Make the switch back to plain white cotton and feel the difference.
As far soap and detergent causing a dry vagina, both contact the vagina (although one more directly than the other). The soap you use to cleanse yourself should be gentle and mild, not filled with chemicals, fragrances or any beads or pearls of moisturizer. Douching isn’t a good idea either. It removes some of the healthy bacteria from the vagina and can upset the pH balance that keeps it healthy. In some cases frequent douching can be the cause of a dry vagina. There are several natural alternatives to store bought douches. Generally, though, the vagina does a good enough job of cleaning its insides that you don’t need to do so. Laundry detergent indirectly contacts the area through the residue it leaves on your clothing. Switching to a more gentle detergent, such as one designed for baby clothes, should be more soothing.
Once you’ve checked all your products to make sure they aren’t the cause of your dry vagina, it’s time to move on to the next step: the bedroom. Your body has a harder time producing lubrication naturally when you have sex often. Particularly intense intercourse creates more friction, also contributing to vaginal dryness. To stop this from becoming a problem, try out a few adult personal lubricants. These are handy to have around when you need a little extra help reducing friction in a dry vagina. Make sure you choose something gentle though. And as mentioned above, certain kinds of condoms can irritate the vagina too. Any sexual health products that contact the vagina should be free of dyes and fragrances for optimal comfort.
What can you do, when the problem keeps returning?
If vaginal dryness continues to be a problem, the solution could be simply drinking more water. Very few women get the recommended amount of water daily. This leads to dehydration, which can cause numerous problems including fatigue, dizziness, dry skin, and headache. Since dry skin results from not drinking enough water, it naturally follows that a dry vagina would occur at the same time. Increase your water intake to replenish your vagina’s natural lubrication. There are many other benefits of drinking more water and you’ll have a beautiful, healthy glow to show off.
When none of the above steps help restore moisture to a dry vagina, the problem most likely isn’t related to your lifestyle. The fourth step you can take is to check any medication you’re taking, including over-the-counter meds and prescriptions. Some kinds of antibiotics are especially prone to causing vaginal dryness. Many medications come with a list of side effects you can consult to see if your dryness sis a result of the medicine. If you aren’t sure, a doctor will be able to tell you as well. A dry vagina that’s caused by medicine will usually return to normal on its own when the medication is stopped.
The last step you can take to find the source of vaginal dryness is to recognize hormonal changes in your body. At menopause, estrogen levels lower. This can cause a number of changes including dryness of the vagina. A dry vagina during menopause is caused by thinning of the vaginal walls. When combined with vaginal inflammation, this thinning is referred to as vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy can be treated through an estrogen supplement. Symptoms like vaginal dryness may be noticed even in the years leading up to menopause. Removal of the ovaries through surgery and some types of cancer treatments can also cause vaginal atrophy. Breastfeeding may lower estrogen levels leading to a similar type of dryness, but this will clear up without treatment when your baby is weaned.
By following these steps you should be able to successfully find the cause of your dry vagina. Once this is done you can decide the best course of treatment. There are plenty of home remedies for vaginal dryness, but don’t be afraid to ask a doctor to help you choose what’s best for you. Eliminating dryness and restoring natural lubrication to the vagina will make your personal life much more satisfying.