As women, we face a lot of unanswered changes in our bodies – many that we didn’t realize were headed our way.
Whether you’ve had babies or are heading into the menopause years of life, your body is experiencing ebbs and flows in estrogen…and that creates all sorts of unpleasant outcomes.
Add to that list vaginal dryness. Let’s walk through what that is, why you get it and what it means.
Many women experience vaginal dryness at some point in their life which can occur at any age for a number of different reasons including a range of physiological, emotional, and psychological issues. Hormonal changes in your body or side effects from some medications can affect your physical ability to produce your body’s own natural lubrication. The lack of sexual desire, anxiety and stress can contribute as well.
It is estimated that 17% of women aged 18-50 experience vaginal dryness prior to the onset of menopause. A low libido, insufficient arousal and stress levels are common issues which can prevent adequate lubrication being produced by your body for women who have not yet entered menopause. Considering the side effects, vaginal dryness is likely impacting your partner too!
Sadly, you can’t control the hormonal change that happens in pre-menopausal years that lowers the amounts of vaginal lubrication being produced. Women who are breastfeeding, who have undergone a hysterectomy and who have received chemotherapy treatments commonly experience lowered estrogen levels too.
When menopause hits, your production of estrogen slows and finally stops. When your body lacks estrogen, the amount of vaginal lubrication your body produces decreases sharply and the skin and support tissues of the vulva and vagina become thinner and less elastic which all lead your vagina to become dry. Unlike your face, wrinkles and dryness require extra care and extra moisture.
What you can control is your use of hygiene products such as scented soaps and lotions, feminine sprays, bubble baths, bath oils and bath soaks along with chemicals found in swimming pools, spas, and even laundry detergent can cause problems. Also, common drug treatments such as allergy and cold medications and antidepressants dry out your mucous membranes which includes vaginal tissues.
What are the symptoms you ask?
Pain, irritation, burning or dryness during intercourse
Vaginal pain or discomfort when sitting, standing or urinating
Bleeding or spotting during or after intercourse
Vaginal lips appear much thinner
Changes in your vaginal discharge (discolored, more watery or “fishy” smelling)
Sadly, there’s more. In addition to pain and discomfort that comes along with a dry vagina, you may experience frequent yeast infections due to your vagina becoming more prone to bacterial and viral infections.
What can be done?
While there is a high number of women who experience issues related to vaginal dryness, many are embarrassed to talk about it. Given women spend an average of one third of their lives in a post menopausal state, taking efforts to maintain the quality of life that they had before the menopause should be a priority.
Vaginal dryness is a very common and frustrating condition and there are several things you can do to help alleviate your discomfort in a natural way. Eating a healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet (soy beans and vitamin E in particular promote reproductive health) along with regular exercise (yoga and cardio exercise can help stimulate estrogen production) are easy lifestyle adaptations that are good for more than just your vaginal health.
Dehydration is also a player in the dryness game. Drinking lots of water will help your overall health, and to boost your vaginal lubrication add some natural electrolytes to your water. A squeeze of lemon, lime or orange in your water will do the trick, and also help avoid the “boring water” trap.
The Very Private System was created specifically for vaginal dryness and vaginal pH. Our Intimate Moisture is the only all-in-one feminine moisturizer and lubricant that replenishes your natural moisture and our pH Balanced Body Wash is safe for the sensitive vulvovaginal area, made with gentle yet effective ingredients to cleanse, moisturize and soothe the body.