Vaginal discomfort, pain during sexual intercourse: are you suffering from vaginal dryness and is this beginning to frustrate you? Your sex life has taken a back seat and you don’t know what to do to remedy the situation? The following information could most likely make your life easier.
Vaginal dryness, an obstacle to overcome!
Vaginal dryness is a common condition that can affect any woman, young or old, although it is more frequent at menopause. We all agree that a person’s sex life doesn’t end at 50. Women want an active and satisfying sex life, but vaginal dryness could pose a problem. Fortunately, a number of tools are available to help you get your sex life back!
Vaginal secretions help retain moisture in the vagina. During sexual arousal, blood flow into the vagina increases, which in turn boosts the production of these lubricating secretions. Vaginal dryness occurs when there is a lack of vaginal lubrication, which can cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness can also cause other health problems in women, such as vaginal infections.
Understanding the causes better
Vaginal dryness can have several causes, the most common being menopause. In fact, any hormonal change associated with the different stages in the life of a woman can affect vaginal lubrication. After the delivery of a child and during breastfeeding, the higher concentrations of two hormones (oxytocin and prolactin), can cause vaginal dryness. At menopause, lower estrogen production leads to the thinning of the vaginal mucosa as well as a loss of elasticity and hydration.
Other factors that can cause vaginal dryness:
- A drug regime. Certain medications can dry out the mucous membranes, particularly of the vagina. So, you should talk to your pharmacist about it if you take medications.
- Poor genital hygiene: the vaginal flora is very fragile, so it must be protected. Some behaviours are to be avoided, such as the use of vaginal douches.
- A decreased sex drive due to different causes such as stress, depression, anxiety, strained relations between a couple, conflicts, etc.
- Absence of foreplay before sexual intercourse.
Vaginal dryness can give rise to the following symptoms:
- vaginal itching, discomfort, burning;
- pain or light bleeding during sexual intercourse;
- frequent urinary or vaginal infections;
- frequent need to urinate.
If you have some of these symptoms, you should see your doctor, who will make you take a gynaecological exam to eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms.
Effectively combating vaginal dryness
A few simple measures can bring relief to vaginal dryness:
- Use a very mild unscented cleanser and wash with water. Some products have been specially designed for genital hygiene. Once again, avoid vaginal douches.
- Avoid the application of perfume in the genital area. Sanitary napkins and toilet paper are sometimes scented, so be careful!
- Periodically apply a water-based vaginal moisturizer.
- During sexual relations, prolong foreplay to optimize natural lubrication and use a personal lubricant if needed.
- Spice up your sex life and add novelty.
- If you have psychological problems that affect your sex drive, talk to a professional because it is important. Also learn to avoid stress.
In menopausal women, turning to medications can sometimes prove useful. If vaginal dryness is the only irritating symptom, a hormonal supplement to be applied locally can be prescribed. This type of product is available in the form of a vaginal ring, cream, or suppository. In case there are other symptoms related to menopause, hormones in the form of oral drugs, patches, or gel for skin application can be used. If one of these medications is prescribed for you, your pharmacist could advise you on the right way to use it and its possible side-effects.
You may not find immediate relief for your symptoms, but it will come with time. If these methods don’t produce the expected results or you have other questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your pharmacist or doctor. It might also be useful to consult a psychologist or a sexologist if the problem is more psychological.
Vaginal dryness remains, even today, taboo. Many women suffer in silence. But it’s easy to confront this enemy by taking simple steps. Healthcare professionals have several effective weapons to offer. So, don’t hesitate. March forward to get your sex life back in control. Victory is within reach!