Vaginal Dryness: Why And How To Deal With It


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Painful sex–it’s two words we don’t typically associate together. However, one-third of American women have reported that they have either experienced or continue to experience pain during sex. A staggering number that begs us to ask why and how can we change this?

Painful sex can most commonly be attributed to low amounts lubrication. Without self lubrication, the vaginal walls and opening will remain dry causing friction during penetration and thus resulting in pain.

So what causes vaginal dryness? There are seven main causes:

1.Changes in hormone levels:

Child birth, birth control pill and menopause all cause hormone levels to fluctuate and decrease. Lower amounts of estrogen can make getting wet harder or near impossible.

2. Dehydration:

Being dehydrated can make us dizzy, tired, and even delusional, but it can also make it hard to produce lubrication.

3. Allergy Medicine:

Allergy medicines containing decongestants are known to dry up more than just your sinuses.

4. Douching:

Douching, while thought to clean out the vaginal, actually disrupts the delicate chemical balance and causes the vagina to become inflamed and irritated.

5. Heath issues:

Diabetes, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and cancer can cause vaginal dryness. However, while major, even smaller health concerns, like stress, can wreak havoc on your body.

6. Not enough foreplay:

Getting excited and producing lubrication can take awhile. Sometimes a little dryness means you just need to spend a little more time during foreplay and getting yourself revved up for the main event.

7. Vaginal infections, issues and diseases:

STD’s, yeast infections, bacteria vaginosis, vulvodynia and vaginismus can all cause discomfort and an imbalance in the vagina that cause dryness, overall pain and tension.

So how do you deal with it?

1. Changes in hormones:

Consider changing your birth control pill so that it has a lower or greater dosage of estrogen. Talk to your doctor about hormone replacement and change your diet.

2. Dehydration:

Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that everyone drinks at least 64 ounces of water a day.

3. Allergy medicine:

Pick up versions of your allergy medicine that don’t contain the “D” aka the decongestant. Also consider switching over to nasal sprays.

4. Douching:

Don’t do it.

5. Health issues:

First and foremost, figure out what the major issue is and begin treatment for it. Secondly talk to your doctor to see if a change in diet, supplement or hormone replacement could help in the dryness department. As for stress, try incorporating some stress management techniques into your every day.

6. Not enough foreplay:

Spend more time with your partner or yourself during solo play to make sure that you’re good and ready to go. Don’t be afraid to add a little Adam and Eve water-based lube to the mix to get things going, too.

7. Vaginal infections, issues and diseases:

Get tested for STD’s and infections regularly, so that you can treat them as soon as they arise. Talk to your doctor about seeing a physical therapist if you feel like you suffer from vulvodynia–they can help you work through the involuntary tightening issues.

These are just some of the reasons for vaginal dryness and some of the ways you can help treat the problem. As with any medical issue or concern, you should consult your doctor, get regular physicals and talk about your options.