6 Things That Can Cause Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is the lack of lubrication in the vagina and it may cause painful intercourse for women, burning sensation, itching and discomfort. There are many things that cause vaginal dryness from physiological factors, such as a decrease in estrogen levels or medication side effects, to psychological and emotional issues, such as lack of desire or even anxiety. Women who suffer from vaginal dryness often dread intercourse and avoid sex as a result.
The first step in treating vaginal dryness is figuring out the source of the discomfort, especially if a dry vagina is causing painful sex.
Declining Estrogen Levels
One of the most common causes of vaginal dryness is a decrease in estrogen levels (after childbirth, during perimenopause, menopause or breastfeeding) which leads to thinning and drying of the vaginal wall. While some women choose to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), others don’t like the side effects HRT may cause.
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can also lead to a decrease in vaginal lubrication. While you may need these treatments for your condition, you can still avoid vaginal dryness by using water-based moisturizers, vaginal rejuvenation gels instead of petroleum-based products.
Prescription antidepressants, asthma medications, allergy and cold medications containing antihistamines, can cause reduced vaginal lubrication. Sometimes all you need is to talk with your physician about changing your drug and find which drug works for you.
OTC and prescription antihistamines and decongestants can also cause vaginal dryness. If you must use these and find vaginal dryness reoccurring, try using a water-based cream or gel to help you through your cold or flu recovery. If you have seasonal allergies, ask your physician about nasal treatment sprays instead or oral medications.
Many women have allergies to chemicals in detergents, soaps, dyes, hygiene products and perfumes. Incorrect vaginal lubricants such as petroleum based creams can also add to your dryness problem and, in addition, can cause yeast infections. Condoms and tampons that have fragrance or powders should be avoided as they can also upset your natural pH vaginal balance.
Douching is another large cause of vaginal dryness, especially if you use douches with fragrance. Further, try to stay away from over-excessive douching as this too can upset your natural pH balance and cause yeast infections.
In some cases, vaginal dryness may be caused by a low sex drive or sexual problems with your partner. If your partner has early ejaculation or poor performance, it can contribute to vaginal dryness.
Regular intercourse can keep vaginal dryness from occurring but some women will require additional arousal to avoid vaginal dryness. The best way to achieve this is to be honest with your partner and find the solution together — let it be a fun and intimate thing just between the two of you.
Psychological and emotional factors such as stress and anxiety can also wreak havoc on sexual desire and lead to vaginal dryness when normal vaginal lubrication does not occur. When a woman is anxious there is insufficient blood flow, so she will have dryness.
While there are other causes of vaginal dryness, the six I mentioned above are treatable through natural herbal treatments, avoiding certain products, HRT or simple open conversations with your partner.