One uncomfortable problem that women and people with vaginas of all ages can relate to is vaginal dryness. It’s one of those annoying and sometimes even painful feelings that can make normal everyday activities feel like a nuisance, like walking, working out, sitting, and even peeing or having sex! When down there is as dry as the Sahara, not only does it affect you physically—it can also affect you mentally and emotionally, tugging at our self-confidence. Here at Queen V, nothing is TMI! Real queens help each other out, let’s dive deep into this common issue.
Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness
Some common symptoms of vaginal dryness include painful intercourse, decreased sex drive, and even itching and burning. Sometimes, vaginal dryness is even associated with feeling sore in or around the vagina and vulva areas. The worst times include bleeding after or during sex due to dry penetration. Usually, the walls of the vagina should be naturally lubricated. So if that vaginal lining is thin, dry, and itchy, that’s when you know something is up. Pay attention to any signs of discomfort and note when something is feeling out of the ordinary “down there”, especially when participating in everyday tasks that aren’t normally uncomfortable. It’s important to pay attention to your vagina so you can act quickly when issues arise. If you and your V are not living your best lives, it might be time to see your healthcare provider so they can further pinpoint the problem.
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
There are many reasons you might be having internal discomfort or those irritating “dry spells”. If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, it may have something to do with hormonal changes. Estrogen, a female hormone, helps to keep vaginal tissue healthy by maintaining the natural lubrication and the elasticity and acidity of the vagina. A drop in estrogen levels will cause this natural moisture to reduce, and contrary to what some people might think, this doesn’t only affect women hitting menopause! This can affect anyone at any age. Before taking any medication or over-the-counter drugs, make sure to check in with your healthcare provider so they can help by giving you the best solution for your unique V! Speaking of hormonal changes, birth control pills or any other hormonal birth control can even have a negative effect on your vaginal moisture. If you started taking birth control recently and you’re now experiencing vaginal dryness, definitely have a chat with your doctor to see what’s up.
Although dryness can happen to women of every age, it’s definitely not something that should be ignored or mistaken as menopausal symptoms, as it is also a common symptom of vaginitis. If you experience UTIs (urinary tract infections) or yeast infections, vaginal dryness can also happen as a result. If a lack of vaginal lubrication is paired with any abnormal discharge, pain, itching, or odor, it is important that you plan a visit to your gyno to chat. Take note of the symptoms you’re feeling and have a candid convo so your gynecologist can provide the right solution for you!
Internal Vs. External Discomfort
Now that we’ve talked about some reasons for internal discomfort and dryness, let’s touch on why you might be experiencing some external discomfort. Douching, bubble baths, some intimate washes and shampoos, and scented soaps can all cause dryness as well by throwing off the normal pH of the vulva. Most cleansers and soaps on the market and in the vaginal wellness world are far too basic and lead to irritation and even infection. That’s no way to treat your V like royalty!
Vaginal Dryness During Sex
If you’re only experiencing dryness when you want to have sex, this is a different story. It’s possible that your partner isn’t doing the right things to turn you on or that your mind is focused on outside stress or work. Try to relax and ease your mind. Allow your partner to take their time to help you feel aroused. Foreplay can even do the trick to trigger all the vaginal lubrication you need to eliminate the discomfort and bring on the pleasure. Maybe even consider a conversation like this with your partner. Sure – it can be a little embarrassing, but trust us, your V will thank you for your honesty, especially if you’re interested and ready to have sex! If your sex drive is also suffering, it could have to do with where you are in your cycle. Some women may find that their libido suffers post-ovulation, and tracking your cycle using an app might help if that’s the case. Some forms of birth control and other medications might also be leaving your Queen V a little thirsty.
What to Do for Vaginal Dryness
Although these “dry spells” might be embarrassing to talk about, there are plenty of options out there to help relieve temporary dryness! One easy way to make sure your whole body is getting enough moisture is to stay hydrated. Time to drink your water, Queen! When your water intake is increased, you can encourage those natural vaginal fluids to start flowing!
It can be easy to assume that any regular body lotion or moisturizer can be applied to the vaginal and vulva area to provide the moisture you’re lacking internally, but these are only intended for external use. It is probably best to get a personal lubricant that’s intended for vaginal application. To moisturize and help with foreplay and comfort during intimacy, P.S. I Lube You is a dermatologically tested personal lubricant that provides an enjoyable and longer lasting glide*.
Lastly, don’t forget how great of a resource your healthcare professional can be! If you’ve never been to the gynecologist, check out our blog post on Gyno 101 to continue your vaginal health journey. Start your engines ladies… and don’t let dryness and discomfort get you down!
*vs not using a lubricant.